Friday, March 30, 2012

Selling off my collections

I'm one of those individuals who tends to branch out into other factions instead of adding depth to just one.  Back when I played 40k, I simply didn't understand (and still don't) why some people owned 10,000 points of Space Marines, when they could just have 2000 points of 5 different factions and playstyles.  While I think that my perspective on owning multiple factions is mitigated in Warmachine/Hordes a bit - since each faction has different warcasters/warlocks that have different playstyles - I still find myself itching to branch out into different factions!  Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that I simply don't have enough time!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Steamroller Prep: The Lists

As I posted yesterday, there's an upcoming "Steamroller" tournament coming up at my LGS and I've begun preparation mode.  While I haven't played any games with my Circle for some time, I'm eager to take them out of the case and try them out.  Fortunately, there will also be a prize for the "best fully painted" and since most of my models fit the category, I'm crossing my fingers that I can compete for that prize as well.  Anyway, yesterday I discussed the scenarios that will be played in the tournament, although they will be randomly determined.  I'm perfectly fine with the scenarios and they have encouraged me to stick with pKrueger (who I love more and more as I play him) and pBaldur.  I originally intended to try eBaldur but I simply don't like his theme force at 35 points.  I could change my mind, but for now I think pBaldur has a much stronger list at 35 points, given the scenarios.  Plus, both of these lists are fully-painted, so that's nice too :-)  So what are the lists that I'm thinking about taking?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Steamroller Prep: Scenarios

There is a 35 point "Steamroller" (because there's no Press Ganger yet) tournament at my LGS coming up on April 15th that I plan on attending.  Since I really enjoy the process of planning for tournaments, I figured that I would take this opportunity to use my own preparation as an example for others when faced with a similar situation.  I'm pretty excited about this tournament as it's the first in which I will be participating in this area and it'll be a great opportunity for me to get a few games in and meet some of the locals!  Let me share with you my thoughts and process of preparing for just such an event.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Editorial: Pleasing the Fanbase

Something really interesting has been happening in the month of March.  For those of you who are not aware, Mass Effect 3 was one of the most anticipated video game releases for a long time.  The Mass Effect triology has grabbed the fans by the heart and led them along a winding path of decision-making and plot to create what I believe to be the defining science fiction epic of the last 100 years.  Mass Effect 3, the conclusion to the trilogy, however, has garnered much more ire from the fans of the game than both of the other games combined, and this disgruntled response is due to the ending of the game. 

I do need to add: I have not played the game yet, I have only played the demo and for various reasons that I will not go into now, I have not purchased Mass Effect 3 yet and so I'm only vaguely aware of what the ending of the game actually looks like.  What I do want to write about, however, is a response to this:
To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare

Monday, March 26, 2012

Steam-Powered Wedding

I don't often use my blog to share personal news but this weekend was a very important one for the rest of my life.  My girlfriend (the most supportive woman in the entire world) went to a conference in Orlando to read an excerpt from her awesome paper on Post-humanism in Harry Potter last Wednesday.  I decided to surprise her by flying down to Orlando on Thursday, and Friday I met her in Harry Potter World and asked her to marry me in front of the Hogwarts Express.  It was the best, happiest weekend of my entire life and I wanted to share it all with you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Debriefing: Fiona

Yesterday I wrote up a battle report for my first time playing Fiona.  It was a lot of fun and was a really close game considering that I was matched up against eHaley, who is traditionally considered a top-tier warcaster for Cygnar.  While there was a couple 'Oops' moments we realized after the game where both me and my opponent forgot some rules (that you can't headbutt a larger base, Storm Striders have 360 LOS, etc.) the dice were really on my side and I shouldn't have won.  Even still, the experience itself was valuable and I was able to reflect on the list as a whole and how to use it in the future.  So now I'd like to debrief the battle report and reflect back on what I learned from the experience.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Battle Report: Fiona the Black

I finally got a game in with Fiona the Black!  I've had the model for over a year but I've finally had the opportunity to play a game with her, after all of the list-building I've been doing.  It was against a friend of mine and he has been playing around with the list he brought but he admittedly jumps around between armies fairly often (it's a local joke that we all buy his stuff on clearance).  This was the first time that I have played with Fiona and I had a really bad match-up against me, but my army performed quite admirably.  Without further ado, I will share the two lists and then as close as I can to a blow-by-blow of the battle.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thinking Cap: The Underdogs Part 2

Yesterday we discussed the advantages of looking at the often underrated models/units in each faction.  While I often will look for these underdogs to a fault, playing with them can be a valuable exercise for keeping one fresh in their gaming skills.  Today I want to look at some examples of underdogs in each faction.  Naturally, they can find their way more easily into some lists than others, but are found less often than some of their counterparts in the same faction.  Also, consider that these are my observations based on the tournaments I've attended, the reports I've read from tournaments, as well as personal observations in the game clubs that I frequent, but your meta may vary (of course).

Thinking Cap: The Underdogs Part 1

I've always been supportive of the "underdog", regardless of game or genre.  This affiliation of mine with the under appreciated could be seen as a fault occasionally, but I see it as an advantage.  Regardless of what game you play (miniatures or otherwise) the player base is always capable of discovering the most 'optimal' tools at their disposal, it's part of being human and wanting to win.  I believe, however, that trying to make units or models which are generally considered 'sub-optimal' is a great exercise for a number of reasons which I wish to share with you all.  Today I'll discuss the benefits of playing with these underdogs and what you should be looking for in order to make them work.  Tomorrow, in Part 2, I'll discuss some of the most under-appreciated underdog models/units and reasons why you should reconsider trying them out and making them work for you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fiona the Black - 35 points

I've been on a pirate kick lately.  This always seems to happen when I play my Circle too much.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Circle army and I love the way they play!  I just feel the itch to play my pirates because they bring back something... a childlike nostalgia.  I loved pirates when I was younger and loved drawing pictures of pirate ships and the like.  One of my favorite computer games growing up was Pirates Gold!, a game for Windows 3.1 where you would assemble a crew, hunt for treasure, capture other ships, and it was a blast to play, but I digress.  I'm feeling the pirate twitch once more as while my usual standby was Broadsides Bart, I never seemed terribly satisfied with him and always seemed to have a more difficult time than I should.  I wanted a shooty pirate list and you'd think that Bart would be good at it, but 6 POW 14 AOEs can only take you so far when most of the lists you face are warjack or warbeast heavy.  Naturally, I've gravitated towards Fiona the Black.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Troll Colossal: Mountain King

While this has been out for a few days now, I'm surprised at the number of people who have not noticed this.  Privateer Press has been making inroads into all kinds of major gaming events and Adepticon (traditionally 40k focused) has been one of their battlegrounds.  Last year they showed up with the awesome Corvus board with the waterfront and fog effects, blowing some people away.  This year there is work on a mountain pass battle between Khador and Trollbloods.  What's interesting about the board is what you'll see in the planning pictures and labels.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

War Room to replace Vassal?

 I want to call this a rumor but really it's more of some reasonable speculation/wishlisting, but I figured it would be worth sharing regardless.  There has been some conversation amongst some friends about Vassal, which has become a popular... what do I call it... game tool?  Well my buddies and I were thinking that with the recent announcement about the upcoming War Room app, that PP might have been giving us some hints about the potential future of this program.

Monday, March 12, 2012

List Building: Ships in the Night Revision

I posted my pseudo battle report the other day on my first game with Cryx and my first game with the pSkarre Ships in the Night theme list.  It was a fun game but I also learned a lot about the list.  I also made an error during the game: I assumed that if a warjack could get focus via a warwitch siren, that it could still spend that focus even with a busted cortex.  While this ended up helping me put some damage on Durgen, seeing as I won by scenario, I don't feel like a complete jerk.  Part of the reason why I played with my particular list, however, was due to a lack of models and so now I want to reflect on an updated list based on the suggestions and my experience with the list the other day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Psuedo Battle Report

Thursday night I finally had the opportunity to play a game with pSkarre's Ships in the Night theme list.  It was a really great game and a good opportunity for me to try a faction other than Circle - with which I've been playing exclusively for the last couple of months.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to take any pictures of the game so I can't really give you a proper battle report.  I will, however, give the list that I played with and some perspectives on the list, how it performed, and some general reflections on various elements of the list and how to use them most effectively.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Gentleman's Tournament

Today I want to share something that’s a bit old but good fun.  About two years ago, before I really started playing Warmachine/Hordes, I was still playing Warhammer 40k fairly regularly.  The crowd at my local game store was fairly strong but some grumbling had begun to creep into the community – people were starting to become a little unhappy and bored with the armies regularly seen at events like tournaments.  My friend, Jon, and I came up with an interesting and fun idea: what if we had a tournament where winning didn’t matter?  I’m not just talking about including “Comp” or Composition scores on army construction (still a controversy in the 40k community), but winning legitimately did not determine the winners of the tournament.  It was a radical idea and some in the community didn’t like the thought of having a community where winning didn’t matter.  Really, who blames them?  What’s the point of a tournament otherwise?  Me and Jon were convinced that this could work and actually be quite fun, however, and thus, the Gentlman’s Tournament was born!

Monday, March 05, 2012

List Building: pDoomshaper 35 points

Anyone who's been following my blog for some length of time knows that I'm in the process of assembling a Trollbloods army.  What precipitated this desire was a foray into other factions about a year ago, with myself wondering what army I wanted to start for a "slow-grow" league starting up at my LGS at the time.  I eventually settled on Dr. Arkadius but one of the options I threw around was building a pDoomshaper theme list.  General wisdom states that the Trollblood theme lists are not very good, as they tend to be too limiting and leave out units that offer great synergy for a faction which is known for such things.  However, I took a long look at the pDoomshaper theme list and flipped through the faction book when a particular unit caught my eye: Runeshapers.  I've come back to this army over and over again and I've finally decided to take the plunge, but why do I like the theme list so much?  What list do I plan on running myself?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Does the Road Hog help?

The recent release of the Minion Road Hog warbeast has been some exciting news.  For the past few months Privateer Press has been churning out their regularly scheduled flow of models and apparently has figured out their product flow problems of the past.  While the release of the Road Hog has certainly been exciting, it raises an interesting question.  As only the second heavy warbeast for the farrow minion warlocks, will it actually help the faction which is traditionally known for being underpowered (or 'needs fixing' like your own votes show)?  Let's take a look at what the Road Hog offers the farrow and how each warlock might take advantage of its abilities.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New Poll: Colossal Anticipation

Today is March 1st and it's time to take a look at our old poll and introduce a new one!  I like adding polls because they let us all see how some of us in the community are feeling on certain issues or events.  So I've had the previous poll up since the end of Templecon, asking: Which Warmachine/Hordes Faction needs 'fixing' the most?  Most of the responses were not terribly surprising, but I intentionally left the definition of 'fixing' up to you, the voter, as some factions might need to be fixed in a positive (made better) or negative (needs nerfing) way.  Indeed we have some interesting results, so let's take a look at them!
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