Wednesday, November 30, 2011

List Building 102: Expectations

Building a list for Warmachine/Hordes is not as easy as just copying whatever you've seen on the internet.  I have found that many people have attempted this, thinking that they'll do fine, and then struggle for unknown reasons.  While something can be said for playing many different warcasters/warlocks/factions in the game, ultimately success depends on choosing a list that fits your playstyle, like I discussed in List Building 101.  Now that you understand how important it is to find a playstyle that matches your own, let's look at the next natural step and think about what you can expect to see across the table.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Painting - keys to getting started

So many happy trees...
I need to paint.  A lot.  I swore that when I started playing Warmachine/Hordes that "I'll get so much more painting done!"  I was a Tyranid player, so the thought of not having to paint 100+ models of identical poses was a relief.  Unfortunately, I still find myself procrastinating when it comes to painting my models, and it's a problem.  I hate being one of those bloggers who uses my real life as an excuse for not getting stuff done, but I'm not in college anymore.  I'm a real person with a real job.  Unfortunately for me, that job happens to be being a teacher.  Oh, and I also work in the theater.  Two incredibly time-consuming jobs.  While that leaves me the occasional downtime to play some Skyrim (another reason for no painting) or play a game of Warmahordes, it's easy for me to avoid painting when I only have small chunks of time.  So today I'm not going to talk about painting techniques, but rather my thoughts on painting in general and how the rest of us can get some painting done.

Monday, November 28, 2011

List Building 101: Playstyle

I've been seeing a lot of articles on the internet lately discussing list-building.  What I've been finding most interesting is that these articles are popping up on web sites that have traditionally been focused more on Warhammer 40k.  Perhaps it's a sign of the extreme growth that the Warmachine/Hordes community has seen in the last year, but I think that one thing that is often neglected in these list building articles is the issue of Expectations.  What do I mean by that?  I'm talking about both what you expect of your own style of play, which I mentioned yesterday when I was talking about faction loyalty.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Faction Loyalty

After yesterday's great Domination event (which you can read about here) I realized that I really love the Hordes side of Warmachine/Hordes.  After the conclusion of the event, several of us local players sat down and talked shop, discussing options for Templecon, discussed some theories about combos, and heard some tales of the playtesting for Domination (a bunch of local players are PP playtesters).

Throughout the conversation I kept coming back to the realization that I really enjoy Hordes factions more than Warmachine factions and one of my buddies from Regular Team agreed with me.  While we maintain our first Warmachine factions and are still pretty attached to them, we find Hordes to be more fun.  Perhaps it's the fury mechanic, perhaps it's the originality of each faction, or the unique nature of warbeasts over warjacks, but I find myself having way more fun managing fury than focus.  This got me to thinking about something I've been considering for some time: trading away my privateer mercenaries.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Domination Release Event! (Updated!)

So today at my LGS there is an event celebrating the release of Domination and I most certainly will attend!  So the deal is that you try to play as many 50 point games as you can and you earn points once you achieve a "glorious deed" or other such conditions are met.  There will also be a new scenario, which I briefly playtested the other day against my Troll buddy, so that will be fun too!  The rules for the event can be found here and I plan on playing all day!  I will try to update my blog over the course of the day to let you all know how I'm doing and how the event is progressing, so make sure to come back and check up on how I'm doing.  Here are 3 lists I'm going to run (at least):

Friday, November 25, 2011

Road to Templecon 2012: Team Building

I'm so excited for Templecon this year!  I wrote about Templecon already here, and how I was excited to be not only attending this year, but participating in a couple of the tournaments.  When I attended last year I played exclusively for fun, playing only on scenario tables in the Iron Arena.  One of the tournaments I'm most excited for is the team tournament, so now let's discuss my adventures in finding a good team for the Templecon Team Tournament.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homebrew: Gobbler, the Crazy Turkey Warbeast!

Since there was such an interest in Archeron during Halloween, I figured that I could make some rules for a fun Turkey warbeast for Turkey Day!  I present you all with Gobbler, the Turkey Warbeast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today is the conclusion of the DOMINATION! READ! NOW! series, and I’m sure you’re all tired of seeing so many exclamation points and capital letters.  To conclude my initial analysis and impressions of Domination, I have a battle report to share with you!  Today’s battle report is pretty special not only because it’s the first I’ve posted on here, but also because it’s against a kid Drew at my LGS.  Drew is a good kid and I’ve been playing games against him for some time and recently traded my old Minions from the good Dr. Arkadius for his Cygnar.  This means that all of the painted models in the battle report today were painted by yours truly!  Let’s begin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DOMINATION! READ! NOW - ah screw it.

I hate blogger.  I spent an hour and typed out a very long review of my favorite models from Domination and then *POOF* it didn't save any of it.  Let that be a lesson to all of you: type it out elsewhere and save it, don't rely on the blasphemous magic of the internet to save for you.  Since I don't have the time nor the patience to re-type the article again, right now, I will simply give you the quick outline.  Maybe I'll come back this evening and be more detailed, but for now I'm literally shaking with rage, so all I can do is a quick review:

Monday, November 21, 2011


Okay so what's on for today?  Well at the end of today's article you will find some pictures from my first game with a Domina Today I will briefly talk about each of the character warbeasts that were released in Domination - all of whom seem to be some variation on the theme of smashing things to bits.    I will not be ranking these guys, even in order of my favorites, but rather just talk about the strengths of each and where I see them fitting into the current meta (at least my local one).  One interesting thing to note is that each has the rule special issue [warlock], meaning that they can be taking as a part of that warlock's themed list and are also bonded to that warlock.  Aside from that, there are no direct affinities like the other character warbeasts, so there's no real disadvantage to taking them with other warlocks.  I have to warn you that today's post is a little long, but thorough, so hopefully you'll find it useful without being too long.  Let's start in the order in which they are presented in the book:

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Okay so why do people play Hordes?  I imagine that if they really wanted to play with lots of infantry then Warmachine probably suits that better than Hordes.  No, if you want to play Hordes, you're likely interesting in the big tools of war known as warbeasts!  Domination brought us some unique and exciting warbeasts!  Unlike Warmachine, new warbeasts have to be considered not only for their battlefield performance, but for their animi, as they are effectively a new spell that our warlocks have access to.  Which warbeasts are my favorite from Domination?  Let's find out!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


By now you’ve hopefully become excited enough that you ran out and purchased your own copy of Hordes: Domination and are aware of the different spells and abilities that these fancy new warlocks can use.  There are some new spells and there are some old, but one thing that Dominations has surely brought us is a bunch of new playstyles for each faction.  Today I want to focus on my three favorite (I didn’t say “best”) warlocks, and why.  I want to first say that I LOVE eBaldur, but I already spent enough time talking about him here, so today I will be focusing on three other warlocks, with the understanding that you know Baldur is my absolute favorite.  Here are my thoughts:

Friday, November 18, 2011


I have always loved the idea of tier lists.  In fact, they were the reason why I stared playing Mk II in the first place!  I was bitter about Mk I and how some lists were so incredibly broken and I was "just a casual gamer."  The idea of playing a theme list for benefits really appealed to me!  I later discovered that I can still have fun in a casual setting trying to be competitive, but I digress.  Today I will be looking at what I believe to be the top 3 tiers.  Your meta will vary so take my rankings with a grain of salt, but I will be listing my top 3 (unfortunately, a little one-sided) rated based on achieving Tier 4.  Let's do this!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm sure I will not be alone in reviewing everything that's awesomesauce in Hordes: Domination.  This is our first "real" book since Mk II for Hordes, and it's time for us to join the Warmachine players with our own Battle Engines!  Here's a spoiler though: ours are better.  Instead of focusing on particular models for Part 1 (of 7) of my DOMINATION! READ! NOW! articles, I will be focusing on some of the overall "vibes" I'm getting from this particular book.  We'll look at the particular factions, what new play-styles have emerged (there are lots!), and what you will likely be seeing across the table.  Some of our old warlocks now have some new tricks up their sleeves, and it's your job as a good general to know what kinds of things they'll be up to.  Let's dive right in!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Editorial: Character Restriction

So recently I've been reading a lot of chatter about the new SteamRoller 2012 tournament rules.  These rules have not been finalized yet, but they are certainly causing a stir for one big reason: character restriction as a standard.  What does this mean?  Well character restriction already exists in SR 2011, and what it means is that model that is FA:C can only appear in one list if there's a multiple list format.  This also means that you cannot use the same warcaster/warlock in multiple lists, but in the SR 2012 format, you can have a prime and epic version of a caster in two of your lists.  So if I wanted to run pBaldur and eBaldur, I'm totally allowed, but I can only take Megalith in one of the lists since he's FA: C

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Templecon is coming!

I'm now starting a series for the next couple of months on the Road to Templecon (2012), chronicling my preparations for what is bound to be an epic convention of gaming.  Templecon is historically one of the biggest conventions for Warmachine/Hordes games and I plan on entering with my team into the Team Tournament this year.  Part of my preparation includes list building, playtesting, and lots of painting.  Let's first start with the history behind this decision (Pictures from Templecon 2011 were taken by my awesome girlfriend).

So Templecon is nearly upon us!  What is Templecon?  Well it's one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Steampunk convention in the US and it takes place in Warwick RI.  This year the convention will take place Feb. 3rd-5th and it is sure to be EPIC this year since last year there were over 250 people playing in the Iron Arena alone!!!  This year the convention is taking over the Grand Ballroom and it's certain to be a much bigger event than last year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

List Building: Darius Tier 4

Lately my Circle have been getting lots of love from me.  I am "playing" them in the LGS Journeyman League which started two weeks ago, so they have been foremost in my mind.  I also plan on taking them to Templecon this year for the team tournament.  I'm still trying to convince my teammates to run all Tier lists so that we can name our team Trail of Tiers (too much?), but I digress.

Today I want to give some love to everyone's favorite protagonists, the boys in blue, the swans, Cygnar.  Specifically, I want to highlight one of the better tier lists in the Cygnar book, Captain E. Dominic Darius' Wrecking Crew.  This tier list is great for several reasons that become more apparent at the 50 point level.  I will start with a 35 point list, however, as it will probably be easier to achieve for some of you out there who want to think of ways of making this neat caster work for you.  Author's note: Darius is actually one of the rare casters who can achieve a Tier 4 list in 15 points!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hobby: Really easy-to-make templates!

If you play Warmachine/Hordes often enough, you might find that you need a lot of different kind of templates that might not necessarily be provided.  I'm not talking about blast or spray templates, but AOEs that will need to stay in play for at least a turn.  For example, I love playing Circle and we have Druids which can put down a 3" AOE that's a cloud effect.  Similarly, if you play with Cygnar Trenchers, you might use their smoke bombs for similar effect.  Even if you don't use smoke templates, if you're playing with or against Warmachine, you'll need some kind of wreck marker to represent a wrecked warjack.  Well, my friends, I'm here to show you a stupidly easy way of making your own templates!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Learning Center: Focus in Warmachine

In our second installment of learning how to play Warmachine/Hordes, we will discuss the main tool of your warcaster in games of Warmachine: Focus.  While Hordes has rules which are playable against Warmachine, today we will be focusing (pun intended) on some of the rules that apply specifically to Warmachine.  Last time we discussed the core mechanics, specifically how we use dice to represent the results of our desired actions, specifically looking at attacking with melee or ranged weapons.  Let us look again at the cards of the two warcasters we were comparing: Coleman Stryker and High Exemplar Kreoss.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Plastic Warbeast Kits are here!...

...sorta.  It looks like Privateer Press finally unveiled their first of the plastic warbeast kits, and it's no surprise that it's the Legion heavies.  Anyone who has put the metal models together already knows that these kits were nearly the same anyway, so they were the easiest to transition to plastic (compared to the Troll and Circle beasts, who will need more drastic resculpts).  I am guessing that Skorne might be next, as the Gladiator, Sentry, and Cannoneer kits are already pretty similar as well.  We also get our character warbeast kit, compatible with the plastic kits: Proteus!  Looks like Privateer Press is really pushing the Cthulhu theme with Legion now...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

List Building: eBaldur Tier 4

This week is tech week for me at my school.  Due to the power outages last week, that means that we actually have two shows being put on this weekend.  As the technical director, I'm a bit drained, but I've been striving to make sure that Steam-Powered Gamer gets it's daily article!  Today I'm particularly exhausted, but it's time to play around with Baldur the Stonesoul!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Editorial: Signs of an abusive relationship [with your game company]

Today I wish to discuss an important subject.  I first want to say that I take abusive relationships very seriously, and I hope that you can take this post very seriously.  Abuse in relationships is not exclusive to physical means but abuse can take a purely emotional toll.  "But this is a gaming blog..." you might say.  You are right.  Today I want to discuss the same behaviors that are observed in abusive personal relationships and apply that to what I said in this article about miniatures games as a hobby being more like a relationship than other hobbies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Warmachine Table Part 3: The Colors of the Wind

The Colors of the Wind
He was pleased at how the battlefield was taking shape.  Every stone was in its place, the grooves in the earth were ready to be filled with flowing water.  "Wait!  I'm getting ahead of myself, the waters have no color!"  The general realized that his battlefield was lifeless and lacked the color it deserved.  "Time to get painting!"

Monday, November 07, 2011

Spoilers: Lots of Domination stuff!

Alright so yesterday's post featured some detailed reviews of the actual Domination cards for some Warbeasts, but there has been a metric TON of spoilers on the Privateer Press forums!  Not terribly surprising, considering that the book will be out in two weeks.  Not only do we have rules and stats but even some tier lists!  I'm a huge fan of tier lists, and they were the reason why I even got into Mk II.

Alright so here's everything that I have synthesized while trolling through the Privateer Forums:

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Spoiler: Domination Warbeast Cards!

I have long given up on my Minions.  I once played Arkadius and loved my 4 lovingly-converted War Hogs, but alas, it was not meant to be.  I was frustrated with the lack of options and decided to delve into my original choice for a second Hordes faction: Legion.  But I digress.

I've been waiting to see what this guy does!
This weekend is Warmachine Weekend in Springfield MO, and something interesting has happened: some PP staff have been playing with some new models from Domination!  Not only do we get to see these new beast models, but the cards have also been spoiled - with their blessing!  How awesome is that?!  Very smart PP, spoil these awesome new models in a time when other companies (*coughgamesworkshopcough*) are cutting down on spoilers.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Showcase: Two Player Box

I received the Two Player Box for a couple days now but I've been waiting until I got home to open it up and see what's inside.  I am not disappointed!  There is TONS of stuff in this box, and certainly well worth the $100 retail pricetag.  Even though other starter boxes or other games (like the Isle of Blood or Battle for Black Reach) have more models, Privateer Press made sure that this box provides everything you need to get into the whole hobby, and not just the game.  Anyway, instead of writing 15,000 words, I'll just give you 15 pictures (that's what they're worth, right?):

Friday, November 04, 2011

List Building: The Journeyman League!

While there was no power in Connecticut, I decided that I would trek up to Boston to spend time with my girlfriend.  I had a mini-vacation, sure, but she still had to work, go to class, and write papers and such.  What was a guy to do?  You guessed right: GAME ON!

I spent 3 of my 4 days off hanging out at The Whiz, my "L"GS (I say "L" because it's only local when I'm in the Boston area).  I had some fun crafting and playing a new style of Magic: The Gathering deck I like to call the "Mad Scientist" deck, but I wanted to take advantage of the time to play some Warmachine/Hordes.  That was when I heard from one of the Press Gangers that the store was starting a Journeyman League.  If you click that link you'll find out what the Journeyman League is, but I will summarize it by saying that it's a 6 week event that is designed to encourage new players to get into the game by starting small with the standard faction battle box of models.  The League tallies points for games played and the number and type of models you paint and you can earn prizes (and neat patches!) depending on how many points you earn.  Even though I'm not a new player, I decided that I would join up so that I could motivate myself to get some of my Circle painted in time for Templecon in February.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Editiorial: Being "Competitive"

"I never really played sports when I was younger because I'm not really a competitive person."

I have said that line on many occasions and I now believe that there are many flawed assumptions in such a statement.  Yes, it's certainly true that I never really played sports, not even baseball, soccer, football (aside from a brief exploratory period in high school), nor any other kind of sport.  When I was young I never really had the drive to try any of these activities and my parents never had me try because of that.  In hindsight, I find that a little strange considering that they always encouraged me to try new things, but I digress.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Warmachine Table Part 2: Stones of the Earth

I apologize for not writing for a couple of days.  I have been similarly affected by the massive power outage which is currently plaguing the US East Coast.  Fortunately, I'm staying with my girlfriend in Boston while I wait for power to return to my school, but I have been busy playing games instead of writing blog posts.  So hooray for that, at least!  Today we will return to our regularly scheduled blog with the second part about my making my Warmachine table!

Clay and Sand

This is where we left off last time
The general plotted and planned how he would use the natural terrain to his advantage.  "The battle will soon be upon us and we need to prepare the earthen battlements!"  He ventured out from his headquarters to survey his environment, connecting himself with the Earth.  "Aha!" he exclaimed, "I have found exactly what I need!"

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