Saturday, July 21, 2018

Widower's Wood, The Final

Well, well, well!  My trip to the USA is looming ever closer!  I can't believe that in just a few short days I'll be on a plane and heading out for a long trip home... gonna get some games in with some old friends, gonna do some shopping, and eat lots of my favorite snacks!  But I'm most looking forward to spending a lot of time with some of my favorite people.  Before I can get on that plane, however, I have a little more Commissar business to take care of... and at last, what you all have been waiting for, the Fukuyama Gaming Club finally took a swing at the final chapter of Widower's Wood!

To tell the truth, I was a little sad to see the game come to an end... seven chapters and three kickstarter exclusive missions, and I never got tired of the game.  I had such a good time playing!  I'm really looking forward to playing the Dead Men Walking expansion sometime next year, and I'm debating whether or not to pick up the Undercity game that is the urban parallel to our swamp romp.  For this final chapter, Sarge joined us, making it so that no one had to double up on a character, and we could all focus on beating up on some immortal booty!

A fourth player for our final chapter
Announcements:
The Fukuyama Gaming Club will be meeting next on July 22 and August 5.  I myself will be absent from both meetings since, you know, America!  So come and get a game to fill in my absence!
October is fast approaching, and with it the Japan Open Team Tournament, so make sure that you are registered and ready to go, since space are filling up!

And now... drum roll, please... the final chapter of the Widower's Wood campaign.  I know you've been waiting with baited breath, and here we finally are, at the knife's edge between success and failure.  The characters have been upgraded as far as we could get them... the players are on edge and ready to roll... the dice have been promised first born children for good rolls in the game... and... GO!
Invincible Deathless, Invincible Schmethless
The Story So Far:
As our last chapter ended, the characters had successfully interrupted the ritual that Rasheldonak was performing to resurrect an immortal Deathless.  As the group was sharing a high five on a job well done saving the swamp, one last prayer from a dying Mist Speaker cracked the seal on the the Deathless' prison, and he appeared.  The good news... Rasheldonak I guess took a blow to the head and realized what a mistake he made.  Full of shame, the Gatorman Witch Doctor strode forward to banish what he had summoned, but bad news... he can't control the Deathless, and to show its displeasure at Sheldon, it promptly cut him in twain.  Oops, well, that's what you get when you try to control and ancient evil!  Time to send it back to sleep!

Chapter 7, More or Deathless:

Even the villains are after it!
Time to get to work!  So, the Deathless, living up to his name, is in fact immortal, unless you can tempt him to come over to the Druid Stone circle on the opposite side of the board from where he starts.  As he passes over the Druid Stones, he becomes vincible, and it's time to lay the smack down!  Once he's not invincible, you roll a dice, and then place that much XP on the clock tile.  Each time the Deathless activates (and if you pull an Impending Doom event card you roll a dice and remove that much XP).  When the XP runs out, the Deathless is once more invincible, and then the whole thing starts again with you having to lure him across the stones.  The good news is, he hates everybody on the board, so he'll kill Gatormen just as much as he will the heroes.  In red priority rounds, he'll target villains first, and in blue rounds, he'll target heroes first.  While it seems that we'll never get him across the board in 10 rounds, he will move the direction of anyone who attacks him, so I think it's time for Skarg to show off his ranged attack skills!  And in addition to the big baddie bearing down on us, we also have to worry about Stranglevines and Cane Leeches!  Truly, a finale of epic proportions is in the making!  Let's get to it!
Menacing Ripples, I hate you!
 Round One - Our old nemesis, Menacing Ripples!  DTB and Leland tied, spawning 2 Gators in our place.  Olo started us off by throwing a glue bomb in the Bog Trog/ Gator space, killing the Trog and gluing the Gator in place!  Vaskis stepped in to help out, killing one of the buddy Gators, before Skarg burst out the big guns and killed a Trog and a Gator.  Agata FLUBBED her first attack!  Gah!  But she did kill one Gator on the second attack!  The villain action had a Gator charge at Olo!!  Oh no!  Luckily, Olo's poisoned glands were working in fine form, and killed off the Gator.

Brave little Croak staring down an eternal Deathless
The next round brought another Menacing Ripples, and Leland took the Gator this time.  Olo moved into the swampy area and used his Fettershot Rifle into the Deathless and Gators surrounding him, killing the Gators!  Yes!  Awesome work, Olo.... oh no!  Those undead eyes are turning your way!  Look out!  Vaskis noticed a couple of Shamblers heading our way, and shot a Chain Lightning at them, killing one.  Skarg moved up one square and shot the Deathless TWICE IN THE FACE!!!  Too bad it's invincible, that was great shooting.  The good news, the Deathless moved twice, once after each shot, leaving little Olo out of the line of fire next round.  The bad news... he's literally standing in the square with Skarg!!!  Agata put her sights on two Gatormen and sent both of them off to Kossok.

Skarg is FEARLESS!
Skarg, Skarg, Skarg... the Boss event card activated the Deathless, who attacked Skarg twice for 3 damage... ouch!  Olo moved up to try and keep the Trogs at bay so they wouldn't distract the Deathless, but on his villain action he got charged twice!  Luckily, he had some traps handy to get one of the Trogs, and the other one missed him!  Vaskis followed suit, but missed his charge attack.  Then, the Deathless again attacked Skarg, dealing another  damage, leaving Skarg stumbling with only one left.  Skarg then decided to get the heck out of Dodge, but he got caught on the free strike, and went down in Olo's square!  Nooooooooooooo!  Hang in there, Skarg, we're gonna help!  Seeing her buddy in arms go down, Agata moved in and slammed the Deathless closer to the stones.
The Gators tried to stab it in the back... no luck!
Olo took his action to revive Skarg!  Phew, it's lucky that he had an alchemical restorative on him!  Vaskis continued his attempt to keep the Shamblers at bay, shooting more Chain Lightening into the bunch, knocking down 2 and outright killing one!  The Deathless stood and moved up into the space NEXT TO THE STONE!!!  So close, but how are we going to get him to move onto the stones themselves... 
Out of the way, Trog!
 Skarg moved out of combat (taking no damage this time!) killing a Gator and a Trog cowering in the forest, trying to keep the path for the Deathless clear.  Agata Hoofed It into the forest, killing off the last Trog and Shambler anywhere near the Deathless. 


How does Olo always get in these situations?
A Perilous Journey card brings out some Cane Leeches, but we're going to try and ignore them for now... Sadly, Olo is in a bit of a pinch... trying to get out of trouble, he dropped a Corrosive Slime bomb in his own square, since he's immune to poison, and amazingly DID NO DAMAGE!!!  Oh man!  How is that possible!  Let's hope he's slippery enough to survive!  Vaskis moved into Agata's square, on the other side of the stones from the Deathless, and cast Razorwind, hitting him and causing him TO MOVE ONE SQUARE CLOSER TO VASKIS, STRAIGHT INTO THE STONES!!!  Yesssss!  He's vulnerable!  Let's go!   We rolled a 4 on the dice, so we've got 4 Deathless activations to get this done!  Then, to show off a little bit, Vaskis used his Hand of Glory to knock down everything in a square next to him, so of course he knocked down the Deathless and the Trog standing with it.
Down, foul creature!
In the villain action, the Trog stood up, and a Shambler charged the Deathless!  Hahahaha!  Take that!  3 damage from the undead villain on our right!  Thanks, Shambly!  The Deathless, on his turn, stood and killed both the Trog standing with him and the Shambler that just shanked him in the guts with its bony fingers!  Skarg took aim and shot the Deathless twice for 4 damage, leaving it with only 3.  As the Deathless moved toward Skarg, Agata used Pursuit to get out of the forest and into charge range of the villain!  Then... the moment we've all been waiting for... our Queen of Carnage, the great finisher, charged the Deathless!  With the Finisher ability, she'll roll an extra dice against models that are already damaged, so all she has to do is hit!  First attack... makes it!  Three dice on the damage... and she rolls a zillion, which means SUPER DAMAGE!  So, that means two points on the Deathless... one attack to go.  She hits... and does the final damage, winning the game!

Conclusion:
VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to sleep, Deathless jerk!
With the threat to the Widower's Wood vanquished, our valiant heroes go their separate ways.  But as Olo returns to his nest, his mate, and his polliwogs, a human is waiting for him, an old friend in need of his help... a professor from the university in Corvis...

And thus, we can't wait to play the expansion, Dead Men Walking.  I'm so looking forward to it, but with the tournament and everything coming up, I'm not sure when we'll get to it.  I promise, you'll all be the first to know!  Widower's Wood was a great game, and I think could have a pretty high re-playability.  All in all, I give this game and its campaign a flat 9.5 out of 10!  Go play it, people!  Enjoy!

Well, that's all for now.  Hopefully I'll be able to hit up a computer in the States to keep you up to date on all the good gaming I'll be having, but if I can't then it's going to be a couple of weeks until next time!  Fear not!  Another Duty Log will be up in the not too grim future!  Until then, keep facing forward... you never know when the Commissar will be along!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

AAR - Fishing for Cryx

June has brought with it summer.... Oh, Japanese summer... my immortal enemy.  Heat, humidity, cottonmouth snakes, poisonous centipedes, and bees that can quite literally kill you.  Oh yeah, what's not to love, right?  Luckily for us, there was also another meeting of the Fukuyama Gaming Club.  And luck was with us, as Sarge made his second appearance this year!  And then she promptly left us again as Leland was stuck at work all day at his school's sports festival.  Ugh!  Well, we missed having him, but were glad to see Sarge again!  We were really hoping to get another board game in, but as our friend The Kid says, we've entered "War Season."  With Boundless Charge and the Japan Open coming up quickly, side games are being pushed to the, well, side, and tournament prep is taking over.  In a great use of time, all three of us managed to get two games in!  Sarge Vs. Kommissar, Kommissar Vs. DTB, and DTB Vs. Sarge... and we did it all in time to grab dinner before heading home!  SUCCESS!

My first match of the day was against Sarge, and it was a pretty good game!  I'm still working to get comfortable with my Tristan list, and am once again tweaking it to see if I can get a little bit of a better fit before go time... All of my units are pretty set, but I seem to have a little bit of a revolving door on what 'jacks I'm going to go with.  I felt comfortable enough with the new set I used in today's game, but... I'm not sure if I'm totally happy with it.  We'll see.  My next game was against DTB, and though I lost again, I did feel a bit more comfortable with the list, and I managed to spear me a big ole' bear!

A nice bear skin for Tristan's new cloak!
Announcements:
The next gaming days for the Fukuyama Gaming Club are July 22 and August 5!
Registration for the Japan Open Team Tournament in October is rolling along!  Make sure that you reserve your place if you're want to join!
And now, the big news... in just three weeks, my polliwogs and I are going to visit family in America!  Yeah!  Because of this, August may see some breaks in our regular posting schedule... and content!  I may not be able to get any games in , but I will definitely be visiting some of my favorite local gaming stores, and they may find themselves with a write up in the Duty Log!
Look forward to it... that's an order!

For the first time in... boy, maybe three years, I finally got a game in with Sarge!  Woot!  The last few years he hasn't been able to make it up our way for anything except the Japan Open, which he has been running.  It is a long way from Fukuyama to Iwakuni, and if he brings up some of the boys from the base, there are a lot of restrictions on them, especially that they have to make curfew (and I really mean HAVE TO.... the American military does NOT mess around with that kind of thing).  But the last two meetings he has made it up, and much fun was had!  I decided to take one more turn with Tristan to face off against his new Cryx army... sadly, Menoth is not a great match up against the undead horde!


Army List, Cryx:

The Bastard's Dark Host
     Warcaster - Goreshade 2 (Goreshade the Cursed)
          Desecrator
          Death Ripper
          Defiler
     Skarlock Thrall
     Wraith Engine
     Bane Lord Tartarus
     Scrap Thrall X 2 (that's 6 thralls, y'all!)
     Bane Warriors (Maximum) X 2
          + Officer X 2
     Bane Riders (Maximum)

This list uses the Dark Host Theme Force, which will give Sarge's Bane models prowl (they'll get stealth when they have concealment) and he'll also get 2 4" fog clouds, which of course, will help his prowling Banes!

Army List, Protectorate:
Tristan's Guardians of the Temple
     Warcaster - Sovereign Tristan Durant
          Reckoner X 2
          Templar
          Crusader
          Purifier
          Redeemer
     Daughters of the Flame
     Temple Flameguard (Maximum)
          +Officer and Standard
 
This is, naturally, a Guardians of the Temple theme force, which will give my Daughters of the Flame the ability to Ambush (and let me tell you, that has really come in handy a few times!) and the Temple Flameguard will gain Tough and can't be knocked down when in B2B with models in their unit.

Setup, Cryx:

A ghostly horde
 We ended up rolling the Spread the Net scenerio, so that means we had a unit scoring zone in the center of the board, and a Jack/ Beast scoring zone on each side of it, and flags on opposite sides from the 'jack zones.  Sarge set his two fog clouds touching each other right next to the obstruction on the edge of the middle zone, and then proceeded to flop down that giant awful monstrosity of a Wraith Engine right in the middle!  Next to it on the left, his unit of Black Banes, with the Defiler on the outside and the BLT (Bane Lord Tartarus) a little behind them.  In front of the Engine came Goreshade and his Scarlock, with the Colorful Banes next to them on the right.  The Desecrator and the Bane Rides came next, with the Death Ripper finishing out the right flank.  Behind everything, six Scrap Thralls brought up the rear...okay, I know in the picture it looks like five Scrap Thralls and one blue marker, but use your imagination! Haha!

Setup, Protectorate:

Flameguard, ready to go!
I started with my Temple Flameguard in the Shield Wall order in the middle of the board.  Behind them, the one of the Reckoners started far on the left to try and deal with the Bane Riders that were going to be charging at me.  Then, the other Reckoner, the Redeemer, Tristan, and the Templar lined up with the choir filling in where they could fit.  On the hill behind the wall of Flameguard I set the Crusader, and finally the Purifier on the edge.  Usually I would then take the chance to set up my Daughters with advanced deployment, but since they have Ambush now, and Sarge has, like, a million Bane Warriors that are going to KEEP COMING BACK TO LIFE, I think they'll Ambush.

Our Story:
After stealing the sword of Nyssor, Goreshade and his troops are hastening back towards the Thornwood to reach the relative safety of the Cryxian tunnel system.   Under cover of night, the eldritch was moving in the direction of Bainsmarket, when suddenly a force of Flameguard from the Protectorate appeared before him, cutting him off from his destination.  Several Scrap Thralls that had been following his Wraith Engine shuffled forward and informed him that more Flameguard were moving up on all sides, trying to catch the Cryxians in a net of spears.  Sovereign Tristan Durant was in the lead, having had a vision from the Creator of Man commanding him to stop the undead horde before they could escape.  If Goreshade was to keep his prize and reach safety, he was going to have to cut that net open and lose himself and his forces in the looming woods.

Round 1, Cryx:

Forward, to the concealing fog!
The Desecrator accumulates for one focus (stupid rule!  What does it think it is, a Cyrissian?)  Then it ran 10" into the fog.  The Colorful Banes ran next to the Desecrator.  The Black Banes ran behind the obstacle.  The Defiler ran in front of the Black Banes, between them and the rocks.  The Bane Riders ran into the left zone, while the giant Wraith Engine ran between the two units of Bane Warriors.  The Skarlock did a little cross and ran to the other side of the Wraith Engine.  Goreshade moved up and cast Occultation on the Riders, and BLT ran behind the Colorful Banes, and the Scrap Thralls moved up to not be left behind.

Round 1, Protectorate:

For Menoth against the zombies!
To start things off, the Flameguard moved forward and got into three groups of Shield Walls.  Tristan moved up and FORGOT TO ALLOCATE FOCUS!!!! Haaaaaaaa, okay, this is going to be a long game.  He put Inviolable Resolve on the Flameguard and then hung his head in shame for the rest of the turn.  The Light Reckoner moved up, followed by the Choir who put Battle Prayers on the Dark Reckoner, the Redeemer, the Purifier and the Crusader.  The Dark Reckoner moved up and.... just stood there, looking intimidating.  The Redeemer took three shots with it's very inaccurate rocket and managed to kill one Bane Warrior!  Yeah!  First blood to me!  The Templar ran to join Tristan to give him some of the good Shield Guardness, and the Crusader ran behind the Flameguard.  Finally the Purifier ran into the right zone.

Round 2, Cryx:
Banes, Banes, everywhere...
The Desecrator accumulated again, then inched forward and shot at the left hand group of Flameguard, killing 1 and leaving behind a cloud of corrosion.  The Bane Riders ran forward to block both of my Reckoners, which is going to be a huge pain in the butt... how am I going to get into the zone now?  The Defiler moved to the edge of the right zone, spraying the right Flameguard shield wall with acidic goo.  They all survived, but 2 got stuck with continuous corrosion.  The Black Banes ran forward, spreading out, and the Colorful Banes followed suit in the central zone.  The Death Ripper nudged forward to lip the zone.  BLT moved into the fog, and the Wraith Engine moved a smidge closer to the zone.
Ooooooh, scary!
Goreshade moved up, and using the arc node of the Defiler he shot the Purifier with an Abyssal Gate, dealing 8 damage and moving the light 'jack out of the zone and facing backwards... ugh!  Stupid Goreshade!  The Scrap Thralls continued to shamble forward like good little zombies, trying to keep up.

Round 2, Protectorate:
Step one... get in the way!
Ambush!  Aha!  I remembered!  Yes!  Okay, pack up the game, I already won!  Oh, no, wait, that's right... let's keep going.  The Flameguard pressed forward, charging into the mass of Bane Warriors... while 3 died in a corrosive mist, they managed to kill off 2 Warriors.  The Choir got their activation right!  yay!  and put Battle on the Light Reckoner, the Redeemer, the Crusader and the Templar.  Then, the Light Reckoner killing the Bane Rider up in it's face, as did it's Dark brother.  Tristan lipped the right zone and cast Manifest Destiny!  Oh my gosh, you guys, I'm getting my activations right this game!  This is going great!  The Redeemer shot BLT for 2 points of damage and killed another Warrior.  The Crusader ran forward to guard Tristan's left, and the Templar did the same in the zone on Tristan's right.  Finally, the Daughters charged into the Black Banes, killing 4.  Sadly, as this is the bottom of the 2nd round, Cryx will score a Control Point for the left zone that I couldn't get to thanks to those meddling Bane Riders!

Round 3, Cryx:
And a point goes to the Skarlock on the right!
The Black Banes retaliated against my Daughters, killing 5 of my girls... and then the Officer used his mini-feat, bringing back 4 of the Banes I killed.... NOOOOOO!!  BLT then charged the middle huddle of Flameguard, putting 4 damage on the Captain.  Then the Colorful Banes had their chance, putting 24 damage on the Redeemer and killing 4 Flameguard... oof!  The Bane Riders ran forward to get in the way again, and then.... then the worst.  Goreshade moved forward and FEAT!!!  Damn!  Those 6 Scrap Thralls that were shambling in the back?  Goreshade killed all six of them and used their corpses to revive EVERYTHING THAT I KILLED LAST TURN!!!!  No!  Nonono!  The Desecrator moved into the left zone to torment me, and the Skarlock moved into B2B with the Flag... giving Cryx another 2 Control Points... 2 to go to win the game... I've GOT to disrupt his control game, or I lose at the end of my turn!

 Round 3, Protectorate:
Step 2... revive your ENTIRE ARMY!!!
The Flameguard started my comeback by killing 3 Banes.  Then, the last remaining Daughter killed one Bane and knocked down another.  Tristan moved up and cast Manifest Destiny, and then FEAT!!!  Then, he took Veritas, his trusty spear in hand, and killed a Bane Rider, and cast Hand of the Creator to heal 3 points to all models in his control area.  So, I realized my mistake... the Redeemer couldn't get a focus from Tristan's feat because it's Cortex was broken... I should have cast Hand of the Creator first instead of Manifest Destiny, and then cast Manifest Destiny after the feat... live and learn!
Tristan fears no death horsey!
The Choir moved up and prayed for Battle on both Reckoners, the Redeemer and the Templar.  Both Reckoners again killed the Bane Riders that kept harassing them, the Light Reckoner edging around to try and get closer to the zone, but he's not going to make it this turn to stop the Desecrator from getting another control point... I MUST make it to the Skarlock at the flag!  The Templar charged the Defiler and killed it, along with one Bane Warrior.  The Purifier killed the Bane in front of him, then used his Overtake ability to move up to the next Bane... killed it and Overtook again, then killed another and Overtook again!  Wow, MVP for the game!  He didn't make it to the Skarlock, but he got within 4" of the flag, so the Skarlock can't get a point from it this turn!  The Crusader ran into the middle zone to keep it safe from scoring, and the Redeemer knocked down one of the Bane Warriors attacking him... Cryx scores 1 more Control Point... one left until game over!

Round 4, Cryx:

Step 3 ... stall, stall, stall
The Black Banes spread out into the right zone.  The Wraith Engine FINALLY did something and charged the last remaining Daughter, killing her and spawning a Machine Wraith, which then took over the Purifier, forcing him to move out of jamming range of the flag.  2 Control Points and the game to Cryx!

Conclusion:

Victory for Cryx!


Tristan fought valiantly, but with Goreshade and the Bane Officer's abilities to reanimate the fallen, he was being overrun... quickly it became apparent that he was not going to be able to hang on until the rest of his trap was sprung, or risk the lives of his remaining men and women.  Though it hurt deep in his soul, Tristan signaled his last few troops to fall back, clearing the way for Goreshade to escape.

A punishing blow for Menoth, but a fun game nevertheless.  I really enjoyed my first game against Cryx in many many a year!  Long long ago we had two Cryx players, but the Dark Lady had to return to Spain, and our other player got a new job that really ate into his playing time, and he had to stop coming.

Thanks for the game, Sarge!  Next time, the light of Menoth's holy flames will prevail!

Friday, June 22, 2018

RNR - Call of Cthulhu

On May 20th, we had the latest meeting of the Fukuyama Gaming Club, and would you believe it, we had a surprise!  There I was grabbing a coffee with DTB before we started, when some jerk grabbed my bag from the chair next to me, threw it onto the table and flopped down.  I was just turning to give whoever it was a quick jab to the snoot when lo and behold!  Sarge!  He and DTB had been plotting to surprise me, and did they do a good job!  It was super exciting to have Sarge back for a meeting.  He's a great sport, whether winning or losing, and for me that's one of the most important things about having a good game.  If you're winning and your opponent whines the whole time about what they should have done, or that the dice are against them, or things like that, doesn't make a fun game.  Also, if you're losing and your opponent can't stop gloating, or is STILL complaining about how some minor event didn't work out in their favor, also not a fun game.  With Sarge, you don't have to worry about any of those things.  He's a strong player, but knows how to make a game fun, win or lose!

With Sarge joining us, we had a great opportunity to play a few games that we haven't had a chance to for a while... DTB and I managed to get in one tourney practice game while Sarge and Leland took a nice slow game to get Sarge back into the swing of things.  He used a new (for him) faction, Cryx!  Wow!  All these years, he's been the Cygnar fan boy!  Talk about jumping ship!  I guess he finally realized what we've always known about Cygnar... they're just a bunch of poser bullies (hahaha).  He did do a bit of Cryx painting during his time as a Press Ganger, though, and it was nice to see a few of his older models find their way back to the table!  Like this lovely Deneghra!  Fall victim to her deviousness!
Don't be a sucker to this lovely witch!

The final chapter of Widower's Wood took place, and finally, a game that we've been waiting to play for over a year!  One of our very favorites, a kickstarter from several years ago, Cthulhu Wars!  I've only gotten to play this twice before, but I really enjoyed it every time!  But before we get into this unholy diversion...

Announcements:
A couple of things to keep in mind... the next few meetings of the Fukuyama Gaming Club will be held on June 24 and on July 22.
The Japan Open Team Championships are still taking registration for the tournament on October 7.  Four teams have signed up, which means that only half the slots are still open!  Hurry up and register before all the spaces are taken!
And don't forget about Boundless Charge in Osaka!

So!  Cthulhu Wars, by Petersen Games.  As I mentioned, this was a kickstarted that DTB got involved in a few years back, and though it took a while to get to us (as most kickstarters do) this was well worth the wait.  This is a strategy game set in the universe of H. P. Lovecraft.  Each player takes control of a cult of one of the Great Old Ones, starting with only the human cultists and eventually making their way to summoning monsters and eventually, the Great Old Ones themselves.  You have to set up a power base, summon your monsters, open portals to the outer planes, and balance between cooperating with the other players and stabbing them in the back as you seize power!

*Standard Disclaimer*
I adore the Cthulhu mythos.  I've read all of the original Lovecraft stories, and I enjoy a variety of Cthulhu games and internet goodness (I'm looking at you, Calls For Cthulhu).  But please, please forgive me if I spell something wrong.  It happens sometimes, just roll with it!

Cultists and gates for everyone!
That's right!  The board is the Earth!  We're all going to rampage around the map, taking control of areas of land and sea as we expand our power bases and struggle for supremacy.  Let's get started!

Four factions were selected for today's game, and we decided to stay with the four main factions just to keep things simple since it had been such a long time since we played.  Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, the King in Yellow and Hastur, and Shub-Niggurath will be facing off for control of this plane!
Great Cthulhu
Let's start with the big man/ octopus himself, Cthulhu!  Eric took control of this biggest of baddies.  Little backstory for those of you who don't follow the mythos... Cthulhu is a cosmic entity that is entombed, both dead and alive, in an underwater city called R'yleh somewhere in the South Pacific. "In his house at R'yleh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."  He may be sleeping, but his influence can still be felt by us hapless mortals, in the form of unnamed anxeity and other subconsious discomfort.  In Cthulhu Wars, Cthulhu is accompanied by Deep Ones, Shoggoth, and Starspawn.  This faction uses the special rule that they can bring out Cthulhu CHEAP!!!  It's easy to get him on the board early in the game, and if he dies, hey, no big deal, you can always bring him out again, super cheap!

The Black Goat
Everyone's favorite Commissar (yes, that's me!) took control of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!  Now, I know that there is some debate going on whether or not Shub-Niggurath and the Black Goat of the Woods are the same entity, but for THIS GAME, they are indeed one and the same!  In the original stories, Shub-Niggurath is only mentioned by name in several incantations, but she gets expanded on in later mythos.... plus, she's either The Only or one of the only female Great Old Ones, so... #feminism?  She's accompanied by Ghouls, Fungi from Yuggoth, and Dark Young.  This faction's special rule is that they can bring out multiple creatures during a spawning action instead of the normal one.

The Yellow Sign
DTB took control of the yellow faction... THE CHEESIEST FACTION IN THE GAME!!  No, really!  This faction has TWO Great Old Ones!  Yeah, that's right... the King in Yellow and Hastur have teamed up to bring devastation to the planet!  Okay, so the King in Yellow MAY be an avatar of Hastur, but still!  The King in Yellow is a vague masked fellow (whatever you do, don't take of the mask!!!!), who uses a mysterious play about himself to break humanity's fragile little minds.  Hastur... the Unspeakable One... the original Him Who Is Not To Be Named... I think that says it all.   The two deities are joined by Undead and Byakhee.  This faction uses that devastation for several benefits, but their special rule is that they can do that instead of getting Elder Signs... if this is a good idea or not is up to you!
Crawling Chaos
Finally for today's game, Nyarlathotep, run by Leland.  Nyarlathotep is an Outer One, which is slightly different than a Great Old One, and actually then puts him directly in Hastur's cross hairs, seeing as how Hastur is currently at war with the Outer Ones!  So this should be a good battle, then.  Nyarlathotep uses music to draw in his cultists, confounding their minds until they are his willing slaves!  He is accompanied by Nightgaunts, Flying Polyps, and Hunting Horrors.  This faction can move two spaces for each move action instead of the normal one (cause, you know, they all can FLY!!!  Yes, even his human cultists!).

Game Play:
Cthulhu Wars is a strategy game that sees the players gathering power and then using that power to take actions until everyone is out of energy, and finally gaining points for certain accomplishments.  The first player to 30 points wins, more or less... more on that in a second.  So, let's take a look at the way the game works.

Player card for the Black Goat
 Step one, gather your power!  There are a couple of ways to get power.  For example, you get one for each cultist you control on the board, or each gate to the outer realms that you control.  Plus each faction has their own special ways of gaining power.  Shub-Niggurath can get power from each Dark Young on the board as though it was a cultist, and Cthulhu gets a power for any ENEMY controlled gate in an ocean area!  Anyway, everyone counts up how much power they have, and the person with the most will go first AND gets to decide the turn rotation for the round.

Next, the Ritual of Annihilation!  In turn order, players get to decide if they are going to spend power to enact a Ritual of Annihilation... and the amount of power that it costs raises as more rituals are completed.  So, the first person to do it will only pay like, seven power to enact the ritual, while the fifth time will cost, maybe, 10, and so on.  By enacting a ritual, you will receive an Elder Sign.  Each Elder Sign has a 1, 2, or 3 printed on it, which you want to keep hidden from the other players.  These are extra points that will be added to your total at the end of the game, and can actually push someone past the original person that first made it to 30 points!  But be careful!  Performing too many Rituals can actually end the game early!

DOOM!!!
The third phase of each turn is the Doom Tracker... which, in a Cthulhu game, as you can imagine, is important... basically you get points that advances your token along the doom track, and the first to thirty points wins (thirty plus elder signs, that is.  You can be the first player to reach thirty points and still lose the game if another player is close and has more elder signs!).  You get two doomy points for each controlled gate you have, plus if you enacted a ritual of Annihilation.

Then, it's time for the good stuff!  Spending all that power that you've been collecting!  Yeah!  Players take turns spending power to do all sorts of things... moving around the board, recruiting cultists, spawning monsters, building gates, casting spells, and summoning your Great Old One are just a couple of the things that you can do.  Also, battling against other factions, which is a huge amount of fun!  Naturally this is where most of the cunning needs to happen, especially because not everyone will have the same power to start with, or one player will be trying to accomplish something that takes a lot of power... but once you're out, you're out, and you can't influence the board anymore... so part of the strategy is trying to decide if you want to blow all your power and risk letting the others run wild over the board with you unable to stop them, or if you want to hoard your power and be the last one to have an action.

Game On!
Oh, Shub-Niggurath, you slut!
Our game started out pretty simple... no one bought a ritual, and we all started with out six cultists and a gate in one area on the map.  The Great Cthulhu faction gets a little boost early on in the game (I mean, the game is named after him, sooo, I guess it's okay?) and immediately gets one of their six spell books.  Then everyone started spreading out  and opening gates, trying to get a little more power for next turn.  Nyarlathotep, aka Leland, threw the first punch by putting out a Nightgaunt to steal a yellow cultist!  If one of your monsters is alone in a space with someone else's cultist, you can spend a power to steal the cultist and then during the next power up phase, you return it in exchange for one power.

Spreading out, to enslave the world!
Round two saw the rise of that sneaky blue Nyarlathotep, who quickly took control of the power up game!  Coming in first with power again, they stole another cultist, this time from Great Cthulhu!  The Black Goat started living up to their Thousand Young title and their gates started spewing forth monstrosities from the outer realms, including a Dark Young, which counts as a cultist for controlling gates and gaining power.  But the real power play this turn was the Yellow Sign faction, summoning the first of the game's Great Old Ones, the King in Yellow!  Of course, he started the desecration game straight off, desecrating Scandinavia...oops, sorry about that, Elsa!

The King in Yellow appears!
Nyarlathotep AGAIN takes control of the power gathering stage, but this time, the rest of us fought back a bit.  DTB and I both did Rituals of Annihilation, gaining elder signs... I came away with a 2, which is totally respectable!  Then that rascally blue demon STOLE ANOTHER CULTIST!!!  One of the yellow ones again... hmm, do I sense that intangible rivalry from the actually Mythos taking place on our board?  Nyarlathotep and the King in Yellow sniping at each other?  This cannot just be a coincidence!  In retaliation, the King in Yellow desecrated North Asia!  Take that, Crawling Chaos!  The Black Goat decided to start throwing some punches of her own, and made war on a Cthulhu held area, killing a cultist and stealing a gate in the process.  And then, the second Great Old One of the day, Great Cthulhu, made his debut!


Monsters run wild!
Great Googly Moogly!  For the third turn in a row, Nyarlathotep took the first turn... damn!  The the great chaotic Outer One made the table, and then took his posse off and chased down the King in Yellow... they did mighty battle, but while the King managed to kill off a Polyp, most of everything got pushed around.  Great Cthulhu consolidated his power in the South Atlantic.  And for the second time this turn, a mighty portal opened on Earth, and the Black Goat, Shub-Niggurath came forth onto the board!

Great Old One Vs. Outer One
Finally, the empire of Nyarlathotep crumbled and the King in Yellow rose to the top in the power game!  Shub-niggurath and Great Cthulhu both took another Ritual of Annihilation, and this time I only got one!  Oh noes!  I was really hoping for a 3!  The King in Yellow then decided not to forgive Nyarlathotep and chased him down for another BATTLE!!!  Nyarlathotep has a couple of rules to help in battle, but even still, the King in Yellow managed to take the upper hand... and then a Thousand Young Ghoul showed up and pushed all the remaining troops out of the square.  Cthulhu's posse is becoming almost unmanegable in the South Atlantic... and then takes a swing at the battered Nyarlathotep!  Guess he made himself a bit of a target by taking the early lead!  After the battle, Cthulhu used one of his spell books to take everyone left of his huge mob and disappeared into the ocean... this is a great power!  Everyone of his in his square can disappear into an ocean space, and then reappear ANYWHERE THEY WANT!!!!!  Aaaahhhhh!

Great Old One Vs. The Greatest Oldest One

Battle!!!  Battlebattlebattle!  This was a turn of everyone Vs. Everyone else!  To start, Cthulhu and his mob took on Shub-Niggurath with her 2 Dark Young and 3 Cultists (usually Cultists don't have a battle score, but the Black Goat has a spell book that gives them a fighting score of 1). Cthulhu did end up winning our battle, but he did get pushed around quite a bit.. Nyarlathotep and the King in Yellow went at it again, and then, I made my horrible mistake... so, I wasn't even really thinking about how the King in Yellow needed to get into one of my squares (where I had a mighty massive force) to desecrate in order to get his last yellow sign, but he couldn't penetrate my defenses... and I foolishly sent a ghoul into the area of their battle after they were done and like an idiot I pushed the King in Yellow INTO MY SQUARE WITH SHUB-NIGGURATH!!!!  So of course, he desecrated West Africa before I could stop him, and got his final spell book!  Argh!  What a mistake!

Things are getting a bit messy!
The King in Yellow takes the first turn and wouldn't you know it, they summoned Hestur!  All the Great Old Ones are on the table!  Actually, I can't believe that none of them got killed during the massive battle turn last round!  Cthulhu AGAIN took aim at Shub-Niggurath, and though he won again, (the Black Goat is a lover, not a fighter, after all), I managed to hang onto enough power that I had complete control of the board at the end of the turn, and so was able to steal a couple of gates... and with that, the game was over!  And with the stolen gates giving me an extra 2 points each and a pocketful of Elder Signs, I had enough points to outstrip the others and secure the win!

Conclusion:  
I'm gonna sing the Doom Song now!
Victory for the Black Goat with a Thousand Young!

This is a super fun game, and we had a heck of a good time playing it.  It's always nice to have Sarge show up for a day of good times!  We hope he can come again sometime soon!  For everyone else, see you in Fukuyama on June 24th, and don't forget to sign up for the Japan Open Team Tournament!  Spaces are going fast! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Widower's Wood, Chapter 6

Well, dear friends, Golden Week is behind us!  For those of you in Japan, I hope you had a fun holiday, full of great games!  For those of you NOT in Japan, Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays (this week it turned into five since one of the days fell on a Sunday, and we therefore also had Monday off as an exchange).  These include Showa Day (an observation of the previous emperor's birthday), Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day (an observation of the Meiji emperor's birthday), and Children's Day (let's be honest... it's Boy's day...).  The Fukuyama Gaming Club wasn't able to hold a meeting, but I did get quite a bit of painting done!  The Ogrun Bokur and the Witch Coven that I got from DTB on a painting exchange are done/ almost done, and looking good if I do say so myself!  Also, the two choir members that I'm working on to bring my choir up to a full unit are done except for their bases and the missing scroll cases.  And... AND!  Good news, look what came in the mail!
Thanks, PP!

That's right!  I got the scroll cases from Privateer Press in the mail the other day, and my choir will be complete before the next meeting of the FGC!  Right behind that, my last Paladin of the Wall is 95% finished, leaving the Champion's horsed and unhorsed versions and the Sanctifier's base as the only models left to paint up (plus two more trade models for DTB) before the tournament in October!  Which brings us to...

Working Hard or Hardly Working
That's right!  I've been hard at work, and considering that one of my pollywogs recently stopped taking his nap to get him ready for the big transition to elementary school, getting painting time is pretty hard!  Luckily, I have an awesome partner, who, while not a gamer, is super understanding of giving me hobby time, and kept the little nipper busy so I could get to work!  So, today, I give you a WIP, the Witch Coven of Garlghast, and a completed model, the Ogrun Bokur.
     WIP, Cryx - the Witch Coven of Garlghast:
Looking good, girls!
I am having so much fun working on these models.  My biggest problem was having too many ideas about what I would do with them.  Really, I could paint up three different versions of these models, and still have left over images in my head.  DTB wanted them pretty close to the studio paint scheme, so I'm trying to reign in most of my creative impulses, but I had to put just a little touch on it.  You know, cause it's me.

     Working Hard,  Mercenary - Ogrun Bokur:

I'm very pleased with this model.  Very very very pleased.  Again, DTB asked for the finished look to mirror the studio paint scheme, but I really like the Merc scheme, so it was pretty easy for me to keep to that.  Anyway, he's looking good, and I hope DTB will like him just as much!

Announcements:
The Fukuyama Gaming Club will be meeting next on June 24 and July 22.
The Japan Open registration is underway, so sign up to save yourself a space in the tournament!  The first team has been registered, so there are only 7 slots open!

And now.... something everyone needs to know about.... BOUNDLESS CHARGE!
Yes!  There are two major tournaments for Warmachine/ Hordes in Japan each year.  The first is of course the Japan Open which occurs in October in Fukuyama.  The other is Boundless Charge! Some of our very favorite people put a lot of work into this tournament every year, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it if you're looking for a great time.  Consider it an order from the Kommissar!
So!  Here is all the information you need to get started on registering for this amazing event!
     - Boundless Charge is taking place July 15-16, 2018 in Osaka
     - This is a 32 player OFFICIAL STEAMROLLER EVENT
     - There will be 5 rounds played over the course of 2 days with a yummy dinner after the end of
          the first day.
     - No Divide and Conquer rule.  This means that you can bring 2 lists if you like, but only one is
          necessary.  Also, if you bring two lists, you don't HAVE to play both...only one is acceptable.
     - Armies MUST be assembled, but do not have to be painted. (Front arcs MUST be marked).

If you have any questions, want to register, or just want to check out any extra information, check out the tournament website, here: http://boundlesscharge.com/

And now... the main event.  Along with our tournament practice for the month, we at the Fukuyama Gaming Club took on the next chapter of our continuing campaign, Widower's Wood.  This was the next to last chapter!  Oh noes!  There's only one chapter left!  So before we embark on the soon to be finished adventure, let's take a look at how completely amazing our characters have become!

Agata - Queen of Carnage
     Agata has come a long way since Olo found her almost murdered by Sheldon in the wreckage of her tribeal village.  She's come across a Bone Fetish, Phylactery of Venom, and a Feral Charm, all items that help her become an even more total badass in melee combat.  Her abilities include:
     Crusher, Finisher, Pig Farm, Pigheaded, Combo Strike, Side Step, Waylay, Hold the Line, Meat
     Thresher, Powerhouse, and Dismember.

Skarg - More Voracious than Ever Before
     Skarg... what can I say... Skarg will never change.  And he never needs to.  He has received no items at all, but that has more to do with the fact that Skarg never had a player to control him, but got a bit tossed around between us.  He's finally come to rest in the capable hands of DTB, but that is a recent development, and so he kind of got overlooked every time we got an item.  His abilities are:
     Adjust Aim, Sharpened Spikes, Crackshot, Hunter, Lookout, Survivalist, Marksman, Targeteer,
     Arcing Shot, Quick Shot, Bow Master, Fast Reload.

Vaskis - Savior of the Wood
     Though Olo has taken the lead in the fight to save the Widower's Wood, it's Vaskis who is sort of guiding him through what needs to be done.  The Blackclad is so close to fulfilling his mission of rescuing the swamp.  He got Article 1185 and the Hand of Glory to help bolster his somewhat lacking melee skills, as he is the bait character, leading enemies into range of the two fighters.  His abilities are:
     Aegis, Blood Trade, Cloak of the Predator, Stay Death, Affliction, Raging Wind, Storm Sorcerer
     Blood Boon, Harvest, Bleed, Sunhammer, Chain Lightening.

Olo - Hero of Widower's Wood
     They say that the best leaders don't want to lead, but take up the role when they hear the call.  This is Olo.  A humble croak hunter, he has become the defacto leader of this group of heroes, and he still wants to try to help the Gatorman Witch Doctor that started all this mess if he can!  What a great guy!  He picked up an Oroboros Dagger, Improvised Traps, and a Fettershot Rifle, as well as taking the first steps down the Scion's Path...  His abilities are:
     Ambush, Wily, Outrider, Extra Turtle Shells, Backstab, Corrosive Slime, Trailblazer, Bounding
     Leap, Acrobatics, Vitriolic Fire, Poison Gland, Animosity: Gatorman.

And with that, we're ready to dive in to this exciting chapter!

The Story So Far:
It's him.... Rasheldonak at last!
As our last session ended, our valiant heroes had stopped two Mist Speakers from completing a ritual to absorb more power to help Sheldon, the power crazed Witch Doctor who is trying to subjugate the whole of the Widower's Wood.  The amazing tag team of Skarg and Agata took down both of the Mist Speakers and then turned around and destroyed the Orgoth monument that was the focus of the ritual.  Following the trail the Mist Speakers left, finally....FINALLY the team has found Sheldon.  Several Bokors and Mist Speakers are surrounding another Orgoth Monument, and casting a ritual to awaken a Deathless trapped by the Blackclads beneath the stone.  So here is Sheldon's big plan... or should we say, Sheldon is the Deathless' plan... because I'm betting the poor Witch Doctor is actually being controlled by the timeless evil he's helping.  Well, time to stop an undying evil from taking over everything!  Agata, Olo, Skarg and Vaskis....GO!!

Chapter 6, Sheldon Dun: 

Go team, go!
Yeesh, okay, this looks a little rough!  So, the heroes start all the way to the right, and down at the left side of the board is a broken stone monument with two Bokor and two Mist Speakers doing the ritual, and below them is Rasheldonak in the ritual circle.  There are also two blue and two red bone piles... and you can't enter or attack someone in the ritual circle while a bone pile of the color priority for the round is in play.... ugh!  Okay, step one, destroy bone piles.  Rasheldonak is controlling the ritual to bring out Lord Thandul!  On his activation, we roll a die, adding plus 1 for each Bokor and Mist Speaker still in play.  If the roll and the addition are 4-7, 1 XP is added to the clock tile... if it's 8 or more, 2 XP are added.  Also, if an Impending Doom event card is drawn, we also roll a die, and the rolled number is added to the Clock in XP.  Once there are 10 XP on the clock, the DEATHLESS SPAWNS!!!  Dun-dun-DUN!!
Villain Reserves
Oh man!  Look at all the villians we are going to face this game!  Plus, next to Sheldon is a Tatzelwurm... that's right... the Wurm we didn't save a few chapters ago!  If we had managed to save it, the Wurm in this chapter would be less powerful.  Alas our failure!
So, to win this chapter, we have to incapacitate Rasheldonak and break the ritual circle.  Simple, right?

Round One - IMPENDING DOOM!!!  NOoooooooooo!  Luckily we rolled a one, so only one XP got put on the clock, but it's not the way we wanted to start out!  Olo charged the Trog right in front of him, and after he killed it used Quick Work to take a shot at a Gatorman, but didn't do any damage.  Skarg Hoofed It to move 2 spaces, but in his villian action, two Trogs charged Olo!  Luckily, Olo laid some Improvised Traps, and trapped both of them!  Agata decided to start in a whirl of action and charged the Viper Tatzelwurm in front of herself, side stepped into a Trog, and then Overtook straight into the last occupied Trog square.  To end the round, Sheldon does some oogie boogies, and 2 more XP go on the clock...
Olo in trouble already!
Next round... the Boss event card!  Man!  We can't catch a break!  Another XP goes onto the Clock!  Olo broke away from Gator central and threw a Vitriolic Fire Gourd at the red Mist Speaker, killing it!  Go, Olo!  Alas, his villian action was BAD, sending two Gators at Vaskis for 2 damage, and a Trog at Agata who missed.  Vaskis left combat and shot a spell back at the Gator who hit him, killing it as well!  Finally, Vaskis gets his magic to work!  And following the trend was another bad villian action brought Skarg down to his last two wounds.  Skarg decided to take matters into his own hands, killing both Gators with shots from his bow, while Agata killed both Trogs and used her Overtake to move onto the bone pile, ready to destroy it next turn.  In her own villain turn, the Warbeast Tatzelwurm protecting Sheldon was going to charge Agata, but she used her feat card Staredown, terrifying it so much that it changed it's mind.  Sheldon continued the ritual, putting another XP on the clock.
It's my arrow IN YOUR FACE!!
Another Boss card... another XP.  Great... This round was a bunch of tries and fails.  Olo tried to punch the Bone Pile he was on... no go.  Vaskis charged a Gatorman, missed.  Skarg did make his move on a Trog and Gatorman that were harassing Olo and finished them off, so that was good!  And Agata did manage to break up the bone pile that she was standing on!  One down, three to go!  The next round things started turning around for us... Vaskis took a shot at the surviving Mist Speaker, dealing one damage to it.  Skarg moved onto the bone pile and missed his attack on it, but spent a re-roll to finish destroying it.  Two piles to go!

Keep the ritual going no matter what!
The next event card is one of our favorites... Buzzard Beetle Swarms!  All the heroes came out alright, but two Gators went down to the feisty little buggers!  Olo moved closer to the Orgoth Monument and threw two Vitriolic Fire Gourds on one of the Bokors, killing it!  Man, Olo is getting work done today!  Vaskis, upset that everyone else was killing all the big baddies, moved over one space, took another shot at the Mist Speaker that survived him last time, and killed it!  Wow, good work everyone!  One Bokor left to make our lives troubled! Agata managed to turn one of the Trogs that was stuck in her square into fish sticks, which she promptly snacked upon to heal 2 points, but one Trog avoided destruction... sadly, Sheldon's turn brought up the total on the clock to 9!  We HAVE to kill Sheldon or get him out of the Ritual Circle or else the Deathless will come out next turn!

Yummy fish snacks!
Olo used his Backstab ability to clear out 2 Trogs, freeing up Skarg for his turn.  Vaskis broke up the last bone pile, and we can finally beat up on Sheldon!  Skarg took two shots at Sheldon, but the Gatorman was pretty tough, and only took 2 damage.  Agata then charged Sheldon and did 4 damage with 2 attacks, and then used a feat card to Throw Sheldon out of the circle with only 2 health left!  Yeah!  No ritual this turn, unless the Villian Action turns against us!  Which... of course it does.  Sadly, it starts by activating Sheldon, who runs back into the circle.  I thought we were out of luck, but Vaskis had a trick up this black sleeves!  He put Watcher on Agata, letting her take an attack against an enemy that moves into her square, so as Sheldon entered the square, she took a swing and.... KILLED HIM!!!  Oh my gosh, it was a magic moment!  No Sheldon, no ritual, NO DEATHLESS!!!  How did we luck out of this one??  Amazing!  Now all we have to do is break the ritual circle and we'll win the chapter!

Stay down, ya Gator fool!
So!  Round 7!  Event card... Impending Doom... no.  No no no.  Nonononononononono!  How is this possible!  Damn!  So, the final XP goes onto the clock, and the Deathless spawns on the Orgoth monument.  We were so close to no super baddie, and we tripped at the finish line!  Olo moved up and killed the Trog standing on the circle.  Then Vaskis walked into the circle and with his amazing intelligence score, destroys the circle. Game Over!

Conclusion:
Hey, high fives all round?
Victory for us!  Yay!  Almost a super victory, but not quite.  This was a super team play, though... it could never have worked without all of the characters with our super coordination!  One chapter left to go (I wonder what would have happened if we didn't summon the Deathless!)  I'm sure going to miss this game when it's over!  13 XP to all of us, and we might as well spend it all since next time is the last!

To finish up today's post, we'll bring you the next in our continuing segment, a look inside the Mardi Gras Gators!

Gallery:
There is no reason more that I wish I could play more than once a month than that I now cannot spare the time to play games with my Gatorman Minions army.  I love playing these gators, and I love painting them.   But right now, I only have 12 times to get two army lists ready for a tournament, and I can't spare the time!  Sigh!  One day, right?

Today, I present to you the first of the huge based models that I ever attempted, the Sacral Vault!
The Orgoth soul sucking machine
Phew!  This thing was a BEAST to paint, but I loved it!  It was so much fun, and it has so much detail that I never felt bored while it was in progress.  Piles of bones and skulls, candle bunches, vines and dead gator bits cover practically every flat space across the model!  Now, I'm pretty proud of my stone work... I use it on the bases of my Menoth army, so I felt pretty confident going into this model because of that.  What I was most concerned with was the glowing, spectral faces in the central pillar.  I wanted them to have a supernatural glow, but I've never tried that effect before... and I didn't want it to be the greenish glow of the studio paint scheme, because that kind of thing seems a little Cryxish to me...
Glowy faces = evil, right?
Purple was of course, a natural decision since it's one of the Mardi Gras colors, and it doesn't have associations with any other faction (okay, I painted this before the Grymkin even got teased, so it NOW has another connection, but it didn't at the time!).

Hey man... you okay?
Poor schmuck.  That's what he gets for adventuring around Gatorman infested swamps.  I tried to paint his pants a little vaguely, as though whatever color they were is now grimy and swamped... was he a mercenary in olive green?  5th border legion?  Cygnar blue that saw too much use?  I guess we'll never know!

Details galore
Privateer Press does such a great job with detail work.  These "decorations" were fun to paint too... One of the first things that I fully painted on my own waaaaay back in the day was a Norse Blood Bowl team (Games Workshop).  And those guys used a LOT of bone work... I've always loved doing it, and I think I'm pretty alright at it.. and this vault has soooo much bone!

Push, boys, push!
I've mentioned before that I love doing interesting things with bases.  For this model, I decided that even these two burly gators could not push that giant stone monument through the swamps without it getting stuck in the mud... so I decided to create a hastily thrown down bridge that they slap down in front of Vault as they march to war.

Popsicle sticks at their finest
I wanted to keep it kind of rough, because they aren't making a bridge to last the ages, just something to support the weight of the stone as it moved to the next battlefield... so, I intentionally made sure that they were not nice and straight, but roughly hewn and not evenly spaced.

We're getting a-head.... see what I did there?
No sacrificial alter is complete without a bloodthirsty, cold blooded priest cutting the heads or hearts out of victims, and this one is using the blood to power the amazing powers of the Sacral Vault.

Well, that's it!  I hope that you enjoyed the Sacral Vault!  I enjoyed painting and playing it!  The next meeting of the Fukuyama Gaming Club will be on June 24th!  See you then!