Monday, January 30, 2012

Road to Templecon 2012: Display Board

One of the project that has been lurking in the back of my apartment is putting together a tournament Display Board for my Circle army.  I gathered the materials for this project way back in October, but at various points since then I have either been distracted by other things (DAMN YOU SKYRIM!) or I was missing something that I needed to get to the next step.  Well I have good news for you all: I have finished my display board!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dealing with *twitch* wargaming wthdrawals

That's right, I need my wargaming fix.  Unfortunately, I now live in an area where the closest "local" game store is about 30 miles away.  The real problem, though, is that they don't really have a web site and although I've been there about a dozen times, I still cannot find anyone with whom to play a game.  The regulars at the store clearly prefer playing 40k, and although I make sure to bring a 40k army with me every time, it seems to be quite the insular crowd.  So what's a guy to do?  While I play board games with colleagues at least once every week, I find my senses are dulled from a lack of wargaming and I feel less motivated to do things that I normally would enjoy doing.  Do you feel the same way sometimes?  What can we do about it?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

List Building: Adeptus Rahn 35 points

Sorry about the lack of an update yesterday - I've felt like my face has been in a vice grip and I hate my sinuses right now.  Instead, I will create a bonus post for Saturday in preparation for Templecon (next week! AHHHHH!!!) on preparing for such an epic event.  Today, however, I want to talk about my favorite board-control warcaster: Adeptus Rahn Shyeel.  Last year I went through almost all of the factions or at least considered all of the factions as I wanted to build my Warmachine/Hordes collection.  For a short period of time I had actually owned a small Retribution force and had even converted them a bit.  They seemed like a lot of fun and I played some games with them, but never got the 35-point level to which I was aspiring.  Rahn controls the board like no one else, has a very easy-to-use feat, and has one of the few competitive theme lists among the Retribution warcasters.  Let me share with you my thoughts on Rahn Shyeel.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Road to Templecon 2012 - Standard Issue Tournament

Lately I've been really busy with work (hooray real world) and so I haven't devoted as much time as I should to coming up with effective lists for Templecon.  While I've already discussed my team tournament lists here, I'm faced with a different challenge when it comes to the Standard Issue tournament which takes place Saturday afternoon into the evening.  While I have no allusions of being a a top tournament player, I want to try my best and my goal is to at least make it into the top 25%.  While I had some success over the summer at the NETT, I need to focus my lists more than I did for this tournament.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steamroller 2012 - Why Deathclock is the best

I did some preliminary thoughts about Steamroller 2012 (here) at the time that the beta rules were in the hands of only a few individuals.  Now the full rules have been released and it's time for the 2012 tournament season to begin!  There is some very different things about Steamroller this year compared to the last (in my opinion, for the better) and while I will share a couple of those differences in this post, I want to focus on the issue of timing.  In SR2012 the issue of timing games has become a little more complicated and unpredictable, but for those of you who might get a headache from reading about all of the variables and multiples and tie-breakers (it really reads more like a textbook), I want to make a case for a small little timing variant known as Death Clock.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Editorial: Should playtesters be allowed to compete?

This is a difficult topic for me to bring up since I know some playtesters personally, but in light of the new SR2012 rules I started thinking: should playtesters be allowed to compete in tournaments if they're playtesting that same game?  I'm not talking about small, local tournaments, but rather the large conventions like the upcoming Templecon.  It's an issue that I'm not sure has been addressed before and it's something that I think is worth thinking about as Warmachine/Hordes - and miniatures games in general - become more popular.  It essentially boils down to the question: does advanced knowledge of rules provide an unfair advantage over the rest of the gaming population?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

List Building: pNemo - 35 points

I recently wrote an article for 3++ is the new black (part 1 and part 2) about how awesome eNemo is and how much he loves warjacks.  Well I also promised that I would write an article about making pNemo work, but I decided to preview that article here with more details on choices and alternatives.  I'm certainly in the camp that believes that pNemo is one of the worst warcasters that Cygnar has, but I believe that like with any warcaster, once you figure out how to maximize on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses, any warcaster can be good, and at the very least, fun!  I came up with some thoughts on pNemo a few months ago and so I reflected back on those ideas and tweaked them a bit to come up with a new list for pNemo.  Part of the trouble with this guy is that there are so many routes to go, but I figured that here I would provide a starting point for those who might be thinking of playing him, and you can go from there.  Where do we start?  Yep, let's look at what he has.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

List Building: The Minuteman!

I don't like to use my blog to spam news posts, like the Minuteman model being announced by Privateer Press.  I imagine that all of my readers will either check for themselves or see it elsewhere and I strive to post something more meaningful for my readers daily (not trying to take a stab at any other blogs here!).  That said, I'm really excited that the Minuteman was announced and I decided that instead of just writing "YAYAYAYAYAY" over and over again, I would include a little more substance.  I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this model since Wrath came out and is easily my favorite model in that book.  In honor of its impending release, I have decided to write an article about the theory behind this bugger for when he comes out and a list that I think will put him to his best use.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

List Building: Broadsides Bart - 35 points

I was struck with inspiration today.  Usually I love tier lists, as they are easy to make and generally offer some neat benefits.  I've also been in love with Broadsides Bart for well over a year now, and I love the piratey theme that he's got going on.  However, with the arrival of Wrath, no one new really came around for the Privateers (except Ragman, I guess), and so I was a little sad.  While contemplating warcasters to talk about for this blog post I decided to take a look at Mercenaries again.  While I've already done an article on making Fiona work, I decided to take another look at Bart, this time without the lens of tier lists (his is great - don't get me wrong!) and realized something beautiful was about to happen.  Let's start by looking at Bart first (as we always do) to see where his strengths lie.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Road to Templecon 2012: Final Team Tournament Lists

So the Regular Team has gone from being super exciting to super dull for me.  Mostly it's because where I am makes it very difficult for me to play games of Warmachine/Hordes at all, let alone at a tournament standard.  The few games I got in were good and I've been getting better with timing my turns appropriately, but I'm not nearly as confident as I should be.  Oh and Skyrim eats away at my soul.  Seriously, for someone who's obsessed with completing every little quest like myself, this game is destroying every minute of my free time.
That makes me laugh every time.
I digress.  I have my lists finalized for the team tournament, and seeing as I'm not terribly confident with my abilities anyway, it's not like I lose much by posting them up on the internet for global scrutiny.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Templecon 2012 Scenario Table: Updated Rules!

The Templecon 2012 Scenario Table has been finished for a few weeks now.  It has been living at The Whiz Store back in MA (my "local" game store) so that the usual crowd there could playtest the scenario and offer feedback while I'm in another state.  When I initially dropped off the table, I observed some games and made some tweaks to the rules, but after a few weeks of testing, I have released version 1.2 of the rules.  Here are the major changes and the justifications for them, as well as some observations that I've made regarding the scenario itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is Randomness Necessary? A 40k case study

I swore to myself that I would keep this blog Warmachine/Hordes focused but there's been something brewing in the miniatures gaming community that is so appropriate to my discussions a couple of days ago: a leaked version of the 40k 6th edition rules.  I stopped playing 40k because I was disappointed with the ruleset and the overwhelming cost of the game.  I felt like I was being mistreated and that I was in an abusive relationship.  Now with a new edition of core rules for the most popular sci-fi miniatures game on the market looming over our heads, there has been lots of discussion out there regarding what we can expect to see.  In two of my previous articles where I discussed if randomness is necessary (Part 1, Part 2) I discussed how randomness affects games and whether miniatures games can replace randomness with uncertainty.  What's interesting about the major leak of these 40k 6th Edition rules (legitimate or not) is that they represent a departure from randomness and a move towards uncertainty and a player's decision-making ability, as I discussed in my articles.  How?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Random: Downsizing my Collection


Much like any adult, I find that my professional work life interferes with my desire for more gaming time.  I miss the days of yore when I had 8 hour blocks of time that I could use to play games or paint models, but alas, that is no longer the case.  As a boarding school teacher, I find that I either have very little free time (when classes are in session) or way too much (vacation time rocks), but in either case I find myself having a hard time getting around to painting models because I hate stopping in the middle (in the former case) or I have so many video games that I want to play (in the case of the latter).  Therefore, I am questioning whether I should try to downsize my collection so that I may meet my painting goals and ensure that I can devote enough time to my favorite factions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thinking Cap: Is Randomness Necessary? Part 2

Warning!  Wall of text/deep philosophical content ahead!

Recently I've not had the opportunity to play Warmachine/Hordes, but instead I've been playing other games and I had a thought: is randomness really necessary for a game?  Yesterday, in Part 1, I started by looking at the kinds of mechanics that exist out there in various game formats that incur randomness.  Today I will look at a couple of games where there is limited - if any - randomness to see if we can answer the question that I've posed.  Lastly, I will share my thoughts about how a miniatures game could be fun without incorporating randomness.  I would first like to clarify that randomness is not the same as uncertaintyRandomness can change your desired action after the decision has been made, while uncertainty will affect your decision before you make it.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Thinking Cap: Is Randomness Necessary? Part 1

I've had the opportunity for the last couple of weeks to play lots of board games instead of my usual fill of Warmachine/Hordes.  While I certainly am starting to feel the "itch" to play some Warmahordes, it's been great experiencing other kinds of games that are fun in different ways.  Playing these games got me thinking - are dice necessary for a good wargame?  While Malifaux tried to remove dice from a miniatures game (by using a standard deck of cards instead), randomness and luck still play a significant role in the game.  My thought is whether or not it's possible to make or play a miniatures game in which randomness is not featured in the game mechanics?  In Part 1 I will share some of the mechanics out there and in Part 2 I will look at games that are out there that are fun without relying on high degrees of randomness or luck.

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Poll: Templecon Masters

Before I introduce our new poll, let's look at the results of the last poll which asked: Which Warmachine/Hordes Faction is your Favorite?  The results were a bit surprising to me, to be honest, let's take a look: 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Editorial: Starting a new game

Back in 2004 one of my best friends got me interested in playing miniatures games when he brought over these plastic robots with guns.  These "Necrons" were really neat-looking and he told me about this game that involved pushing these models around on a table and there were rules which described their various abilities and what they could do.  After some convincing and a trip to the local game store, I found my interest piqued by these space bugs with living guns, known as Tyranids.  The rest is history, and I was hooked by miniatures games.

That same friend of mine still plays Warhammer 40k and his army collection has expanded over the years, but as I and our friends have moved on to play other games throughout the years, he has stubbornly stuck to playing 40k.  He's invested a lot of time and money into his armies and doesn't see a reason to stop.  I've been trying to get him to play Warmachine/Hordes because I think he will enjoy the game more, but he's been so resistant to changing.  This got me thinking about how to get someone into such an involved hobby like miniatures gaming, or getting someone to try a new game system like Warmachine/Hordes.  I think the key lies in the story of how I - and probably most you - got into gaming in the first place.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Editorial: Making Arkadius Work

I have recently signed-on to write for 3++ is the new black to contribute to the expansion of Warmachine/Hordes content.  I decided that since the main audience for the site has been relative newcomers to the game, that I would write an informative set of articles on making Dr. Arkadius work (part 1 can be found here), since he is a challenging warlock to play and a new player might get easily discouraged.  Hell, I was easily discouraged when I played him, and I'm not really a new player anymore.  This got me thinking: why is Dr. Arkadius so "bad" by Warmachine/Hordes standards?  What is needed to make him "good"?  I apologize in advance for the wall of text incoming, but feel free to scroll to the end if you want to see my list of what I think Dr. Arkadius needs.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

List Building: eVayl

It's been a while since I've done ye-olde-fashion list-building, so I figured I'd satisfy the itch today and discuss another warlock that's on my docket after Templecon: Vayl, Consul of Everblight.  Ever since I saw the artwork for her primal form, I was interested in Vayl.  She's such an interesting character for the Legion of Everblight and I seem to gravitate towards the spell-slinging types.  Naturally, Vayl is an interesting character to me, and when she went epic... hooo boy I was sold.  Not only is her model better-proportioned, but she has come to epitomize spell slinging.  Today I will be looking at her tier list, as I think that it is very strong and I believe it gives her access to all of the tools she needs for a brutal alpha-strike.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Warmachine/Hordes Glossary [Updated 7/10/12]

Like most popular hobbies, games, etc. there will be lots of acronyms as shortcuts, and Warmachine/Hordes is no exception.  For those of you who might be new to Warmachine/Hordes, there is some terminology out there that you might find confusing.  I've decided to compile a list of the terms and acronyms that I have come across in my time playing to share with you, with a gentle dose of humor thrown in for good measure.  I hope you enjoy!

Update: If you find an acronym that is not listed on here, please feel free to contribute it to the comments and I will add it to the list.  This is intended to be a "living document" for the community, so please feel free to contribute!
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