Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thinking Cap: Privateers

I love my pirates and now that the local Warmachine/Hordes league is winding down, I'm really excited to get back to painting these guys (although I have to finish grading first...).  Lately I've been poring through the Mercenaries book trying to find some hidden gems that I might not have noticed before.  My studies have been focused particularly on building synergy for my Fiona list, to see if there are any ways in which I can tweak it and make it stronger.  Ideally, I'd love to use this list in a tournament but character restriction makes it difficult for me to take models that I might want to take in another list instead, and that has made decisions more difficult.  One of the reasons is that the privateer models are notorious for their potential synergy with all of their solos.  Each solo is respectable on their own but the fact that they all offer some benefit to other models is what makes the pirates competitive.  However, I've brought up before in my list building that I think that Press Gangers are superior to Sea Dogs in many ways and today I want to illustrate why, by looking at some of the synergy 'packages' offered to them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

List Building: Zerkova 35 points

I only just realized today that I don't actually have any list building articles posted for Khador.  I knew that I wrote one up for 3++ but I never actually posted it here.  So, I apologize, but today I will be officially posting the article I wrote on building a 35 point list with Zerkova.  Zerkova has a special place in my heart and I think she's pretty fantastic and cool, offering a unique playstyle to Khador.  Unfortunately, she struggles to come up with easy answers to some common problems, so she's often left behind in favor of the flashier warcasters like Sorscha or Butcher.  That said, I think that she will be a satisfying warcaster in the hands of a dedicated general.  Let's start - as usual - with looking at her feat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Gentleman's League

So for the last 5 weeks my local game club has been running a Warmachine/Hordes League that has been escalating.  While it took some ideas from the Privateer Press Journeyman League, it had very different and separate rules for it.  It was really simple: you received 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a loss, and -1 if you didn't get a game in for that one week, and each person could only submit 2 game results per week (max).  This week is the last week of the league and when I was in there on Friday I felt some real malaise about the end of the League since the player at the top had such a huge lead over everyone else (he had 10 points more than I did) and with only 2 games allowed, there's almost no incentive for anyone to play anymore.  This got me thinking about the goals behind these escalation leagues and the goals behind them.  With those goals in mind, might there be, perhaps, a better way of doing it?  And thus, I propose: The Gentleman's League!  But first, some background.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thinking Cap: The Stormwall

By now if you haven't already heard, Privateer Press released the cards for the Cygnar Stormwall and we get our first official peek at a Colossal!  We now know a lot about the direction Privateer Press took with these large models and they aren't the crazy unkillable machines that some initially thought.  In fact, the Stormwall has less ARM than Ol' Rowdy.  So, naturally, I want to jump right into designing a list around such an awesome centerpiece model, and now that we have the cards, we can actually start planning - making some assumptions of course about how the rules will work for these guys.  So let's break down the rules for the Stormwall and look at which warcasters would make the most of a giant robot with lightning fists!

Friday, May 25, 2012

How useful are the Battlegroup boxes?

With all of the anxiety surrounding 40k right now (both due to the upcoming edition change and price hikes) I anticipate that there will be many in the future looking to expand their gaming options to other games.  Naturally, there can sometimes be some tension as one side will assert that their game is "better" than the other, but the fact remains that some might be looking to expand their horizons, and that's okay!  For those who might be interested in starting Warmachine/Hordes - or just to add another faction - the battlegroup boxes are naturally a great place to start.  These are all the same cost ($49.99) and offer a warcaster/warlock and some warjacks/warbeasts from which you can build a larger force in the future.

Now that all of the battlegroups are plastic, I think it's time to look at each and I will rate them based on two criteria: 1) Value - compared to the cost of purchasing the models separately, and 2) Longevity - how useful will the models be for building lists and expanding on the faction in the future.  I like to give weighted values to these, so while I might seem a bit harsh on particular scales, I do rate them relative to each other.  For the record, I think that all of the battlegroups are worth buying because they are at least 25% cheaper than buying the models separately and they all give a great feel for what the game is like.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Editorial: Gargantuan Possibilities

As we rapidly approach the anticipated release of Warmachine: Colossals, we're finding an odd lack of information about the Gargantuans which we can expect to see in the fall.  I suppose it's understandable with Privateer Press focusing their energies this summer more on their new intellectual property LEVEL 7 and their new Bodger's game Heap.  Additionally, I'm sure that they intend on keeping things fairly close to their chest until Lock n' Load and GenCon.  What I see, however, is great possibility for these Gargantuans since we have only seen beneath the surface of two of the Colossals so far (Conquest and Kraken).  What this means is that we aren't really sure what to expect from the Gargantuans, save for the Mountain Troll for which we've at least seen a model.  So what can we expect based on what we already know?  What can we hope for?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

List Building: Witch Coven - Part 2

Yesterday we took a look at the first part of list building with the Witch Coven.  These ladies offer a lot of flexibility on the tabletop and are very different from any other warcaster in the entire game.  Consequently, they are often ignored as a choice because they are a bit intimidating when you're looking at building a list.  Added into that, Cryx is normally a pretty straight-forward faction, relying mostly upon their numbers and melee abilities that the Coven seem a little lackluster without crazy damage buffs.  In reality, these buffs come in disguise and the Coven has a great feat which can mitigate the fragility of most Cryx models.

Today I will look at a few models for consideration when taking the Witch Coven.  Lastly, I'll share a diagram to hopefully illustrate the power and effectiveness of the Coven on the tabletop.  Obviously, there are many situations you could find yourself in, but the example I will share will hopefully help you understand the true potential of the Coven.

Monday, May 21, 2012

List Building: Witch Coven - Part 1

The Steam-Powered Gamer is back!  I've been hiatus for the last week taking care of the school production of Beauty and the Beast and it's been a lot of work.  I put in about 40 hours into the show this week - and that's in addition to my normal hours teaching.  It's all over now, though!
Today I will be bringing you all the eagerly-anticipated list building article on the Witch Coven of Garlghast.  The Witch Coven is viewed with a lot of anxiety by the Warmachine community, and especially Cryx players.  How can they win?  What can they do?  Their spell list and feat make it difficult to see exactly how they'll achieve their victory at first glance.  Compared to their peers in Cryx, the Witch Coven seem difficult to use and understand, and it's not immediately apparent which models should be taken with them to make the most of their capabilities and achieve victory.  Toss in the fact that they operate differently from pretty much every warcaster in the entire game, they're not often seen on the tables.  Let's see if we can make sense of them here but we'll need two articles to cover these ladies since there are many complexities to their playstyle.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I'm terribly sorry everyone, but with this week being 'tech week' for the musical here and so I will be far too busy to keep up with the daily pace of articles.  I will, however, be keeping up with the news in the miniature wargaming world, and especially Privateer Press, so if you want to get some news updates from me then you should go 'like' the facebook page and I'll be posting some updates this week of articles of interest that I have read when I'm not in the auditorium crying over popped fuses.

Sorry, everyone!  Next week I'll have pictures of some painted models for you as well as a list building article for a widely underused warcaster with some specific tactical tips!  Here's a teaser for you:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thinking Cap: The Minutemen

I recently ordered some stuff on eBay and the store I ordered from accidentally sent me duplicates of the same order.  So instead of only having 2 Minutman light warjacks, I now have four.  While I certainly got my money's worth out of the deal, it has left me scratching my head.  When would I ever need to use 4 of these guys?!  Today I want to look at the implications of spamming these warjacks in order to make them more viable and the considerations that need to be made it taking them.  Like anything else in the game, spamming is not really as great as it might seem, so I face a unique challenge in getting these guys to work.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stolen Circle Army

Today I have some sad news.  While I might not know this wargamer personally, having an army stolen is such a terribly sad thing that it's like having a loved-one taken away from you.  We all invest a lot of time, energy, and love into our armies and it's despicable to think that anyone would take that away from us.  Please head over to blog of glamage to see pictures of his army.  While I'm in the United States and this happened over in the UK, I know that there are some UK visitors that come here and hopefully you guys can keep an eye out for this army or at least spread the word on other blogs so that we can find this army.  The fact that his army is a Circle army and that it's so beautifully painted makes me empathize with him even more.  Please check it out and whatever you can do will be appreciated, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Thinking Cap: the Scarsfell Griffon

With yesterday's reveal of the Scarsfell Griffon by Privateer Press, I figured that today would be the perfect day to discuss this model in more depth.  The model looks great (a near perfect match for the concept art) and is definitely a unique take on the typical griffon trope seen in various fantasy settings.  I'm pleased that he looks far more humanoid (like the warpwolves) than animal, as it really fits Circle in both aesthetic and playstyle.  The Griffon will certainly be a welcome tool for particular warlocks and today I want to discuss both what he offers to Circle's warlocks and what you should be thinking when using him or thinking about using him in a list.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Debate: Vassal

With the recent release of the newest WM/H module for Vassal, I've decided to write today's post as a debate on the merits and evils of Vassal.  We obviously know that Games Workshop hates Vassal for breaking some kind of copyright (not sure how, honestly), so it's curious that Privateer Press hasn't even tried to get them to stop.  Why is that?  What's good about Vassal?  What's bad about it?  Well that's going to be the debate today.  I will be creating two characters through which I will stage the debate: Archibald Boardsnipe and Penelope Cardsworth.  Today will hopefully be a little more light-hearted than yesterday while still discussing serious business.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Editorial: Open Letter to Games Workshop

I've been thinking about writing this article for some time now.  I've been spending a lot of time talking to my good friend (the one who made the 40k diorama) about why I've been disillusioned with Warhammer 40k and Fantasy and Games Workshop in general.  It's been difficult to put into words over these last couple of years but the other day I think I finally figured out exactly why I'm having so much more fun with Warmachine/Hordes and why, even with the impending release of 6th Edition 40k I'm generally not excited - and in fact pessimistic about its release.  I think that Games Workshop (GW) has been making decisions that impact me, as a customer, in very negative ways recently, and they have a policy of keeping things exactly the same as they are.  I think that's dangerous and if GW wants to win back more customers like me, I think they have to take some big steps forward and change.  Please note that I am not trying to preach to anyone here, that is not my point.  I am not trying to "convert" anyone, but merely trying to share what I believe to be steps for GW to take to make their game more enjoyable overall.  As much as they claim that they are a 'miniatures company' first, without their games, they would doubtfully sell as many miniatures as they do now.

I warn you that this is a really long article and a giant wall of text.  I will first share my story, as I think it informs my pessimism about the upcoming release of 6th edition, but the end of the article is where you can find my open letter to Games Workshop, so if you wish to skip all of the background, feel free to jump right there.  First, I would like to share my story.

Friday, May 04, 2012

New Poll: NETT Lists

So unlike our Warmachine Poll on the most anticipated Colossal, the fans have quite the different expecations of the Hordes Gargantuans!  Before we take a look at the poll results, let's take a look at the new poll, which is admittedly a bit more personal.  With the New England Team Tournament coming in July, I'm not quite sure which warlocks I should play for the event:

Which Circle Orboros Warlocks should I use in the New England Team Tournament?

I've written about it before and I've had some ideas about who I should bring, but I'm curious what you all think.  At the end of the month I'll take a look at the top three favorite warlocks that you think I should bring and I'll build some lists as best as I can.  Now let's take a look at the results from the last poll...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

List Building: eGrissel 35 points

I want to shift gears a little bit this week.  With my order of a Dire Troll plastic kit and Mulg coming in this week, I want to revisit my plans for my Trolls.  They have been an army that I've wished to assembled off and on for some time now, and they've always been fun to play against.  When I first started playing Hordes I remember playing against a Troll player far more than anyone else and I quickly learned to respect the blue-skins.  Today I want to discuss a warlock who has faced some negative press since her arrival, but I've loved her model since it was released: Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels.  In particular, today I want to do some list building with her based largely on theory.  She strikes me as quite the interesting warlock and she has such an awesome model that I want to find a way to make her work.  Let's jump right into it!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Warmachine League Escalation

I guess technically the League that I'm in is an Escalation League, but the club isn't calling it that.  Either way, each week is one round and the League will last a total of 6 rounds, with two rounds at each of 3 different point levels: 15, 25, and 35.  We're only allowed 2 warcasters to use throughout the event, so after some thinking I've narrowed my two choices down to Constance Blaze and Jeremiah Kraye.  Today I want to share my plans for escalating both of my lists for each of these warcasters up to the 25 and 35 points levels and what my game plan is.  I've spent far too long with just the theory of playing Cygnar and it's time I test my theory on the actual table!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Keeping paint fresh!

After yesterday's post regarding the list for the second week of the local Warmachine League, I decided to go with Kraye and the Minutemen.  Kraye was already sitting in a vat of Simple Green, waiting to be stripped, and I had those 4 blisters of Minutemen just sitting on my table... I couldn't resist!  Besides, I think that the fast-and-loose playstyle of Kraye will be a nice change of pace and tomorrow I'll share my planned escalation for him.  That's for tomorrow, though.
Today I have a short and quick little article for you.  I want to share something cheap and easy that I do to keep my paint fresh and well-mixed.  I must admit, I was clued into this from something that Reaper paints used to do, and so I decided to modify it for my own purposes.  Now that everyone is curiously purchasing the new GW line of paints, I figured today would be a good time to share a quick and easy way of keeping your paints from drying out!

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