Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Stomp and Smash

OH HI! Look at the new goodies. You can see how the new model kits are going to look. The Khadoran warjacks do look very similar to the extreme Juggernaut. Where are the Mercenary boxes though?
Warmachine MKII

* PIP 1021 WARMACHINE: Prime MKII Soft Cover – $29.99
* PIP 1022 WARMACHINE: Prime MKII Limited Edition Hard Cover – $44.99
* PIP 31062 Cygnar Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) – TBD
* PIP 31071 Cygnar Warcaster Commander Adept Nemo – 2010 (1 Model) – $11.99
* PIP 32061 Protectorate Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) – TBD
* PIP 32065 Protectorate Warcaster Feora, Priestess of the Flame – 2009 (1 Model) – $11.99
* PIP 32069 Protectorate Warcaster The High Reclaimer – 2010 (1 Model) – $14.99
* PIP 33063 Khador Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) – TBD
* PIP 33065 Khador Warcaster Kommandant Irusk – 2009 (1 Model) – $11.99
* PIP 33072 Khador Warcaster The Butcher of Khardov – 2010 (1 Model) – $16.99
* PIP 34066 Cryx Helljack Plastic Kit (1 Model) – TBD
* PIP 34068 Cryx Warcaster Pirate Queen Skarre – 2009 (1 Model) – $11.99
* PIP 35029 Retribution Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard Bearer Unit Attachment (2 Models) – $15.99
* PIP 35030 Retribution Houseguard Rifleman Officer & Standard Bearer Unit Attachment (2 Models) – $14.99

Warmachine Accessories

* PIP 91034 WARMACHINE MKII Template Set – $9.99
* PIP 91035 HORDES MKII Template Set – $9.99
* PIP 91046 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Cygnar Deck – $18.99
* PIP 91047 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Protectorate of Menoth Deck – $18.99
* PIP 91048 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Khador Deck – $18.99
* PIP 91049 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Cryx Deck – $18.99
* PIP 91050 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Mercenaries Deck – $18.99

Event Kits

* PIP 99065 WARMACHINE: Resurgence Core Kit – $44.99
* PIP 99066 WARMACHINE: Resurgence Reinforcement Kit – $5.00

No Quarter

* PIP NQ28 No Quarter Magazine #28 – $7.50

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Corpse Trade

Adventure Background
Since man could sail upon the Black Meredius it has been a tradition for those who traverse those dark waters to have their bodies given back to the sea. While this is a matter of practicality for some, as many sailors die conveniently at sea, for those who expire on land it is a matter of pride.

The Church of the Waters in Five Fingers often collects the bodies of dead sailors, be they fishermen, pirates, or privateers. When enough bodies have been gathered, a feat without much delay in a city such as Five Fingers, the Church sends out a funeral ship, accompanied by a Morrowan priest pledged to Asc. Doleth. The priest blesses the dead as they descend into Meredius’ watery embrace and so grants the souls of the departed a peaceful passage into Urcaen.

Unfortunately these funeral ships also attract other kinds of attention. The cargo of corpses brings about the notice of Cryxian agents or even the Shroud sept of Thamarites. All too often these funeral ships are raided or go missing as they are waylaid and their sacred cargo stolen.

The Light of Doleth has gone missing. The funeral ship left Five Fingers over a fortnight ago with a cargo of corpses to be dropped into the Black Meredius following the ancient tradition. The clergyman accompanying the ship; Brother Caleb Dunne was to travel to Carre Dova and rendezvous with an escort from the Ordic navy before making its way to the open sea. The Light never arrived.

Inquiries by Father Gald Ronvolvo, priest of the Church of the Waters, revealed several fishermen have sighted the Light in a small cove not far from Five Fingers. They did not approach the Light as they had no business with the ship and did not think to investigate.

While influential with the more pious sailors of Five Fingers, Father Ronvolvo has had trouble trying to leverage the local offices of the Ordic Navy into investigating and recovering the Light. Running out of options, the priest turns to adventurers. He is particularly concerned by the lack of contact from Brother Dunne and fears that pirates, or worse, have seized the Light.

Since publishing the full adventure synopsis would be a rather big give-away to my (currently illusionary) players I thought I'd whack up the adventure background. It's a rather short adventure but it certainly feels like one of my better ones. The Corpse Trade even comes with a Side Trek - an optional adventure unrelated to the main plot - if the PCs stumble across a particularly gruesome piece of treasure.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Dungeon Tiles

Oh yes. Dungeon Tiles. They are the answer I have been seeking all this time. The perturbations of my mind in finding these tiles allows me just the correct mix of freedom and restriction to make a pure alchemical solution suitable for crafting an adventure. I have purchased all 5 sets of the 4e D&D Dungeon Tiles (well, 4, the last one isn't out just yet, but I have it on pre-order now). A very valuable tool in using these Wondrous Items is PyMapper. Others who wish to utilize this artifice must first join the appropriate Yahoo Group and await approval of the group's owner. It's worth the wait.

When confronted with limitless choices I tend to freeze, much like a proverbial burrowing rodent before an illuminated device. Using the tiles seems to allow me to whip up the dungeons for my adventures much quicker than if I was planning out by freehand (as I was before). In fact I have almost finished writing The Corpse Trade and fully mapped each location out. All that remains is to give the NPCs stats, distribute treasure and... no, that's it. Maybe I'll write it up all neat and tidy and whack it up on the Iron Kingdoms RPG forums... Then other people will experience the wonder of Dungeon Tiles!

Sliding Down

The game on Tuesday at G3 was against Scott and his Gorten list. He's expanded out from the Searforge Commission to include models from the Highborn Covenant in his list now. I opted to bring along Ashlynn - once again Martin is a regular opponent of Scott's, so bringing along Magnus would have been more of the same for him.

It was a very enjoyable games, though Scott's assassination run was a total comedy of errors: he attempted to kill Ashlynn while Roulette was still up, his own Dwarf Toss caused 7 points of damage to Gorten and he landed outside his feat range of Ashlynn. Granted it was a matter of desperation as my superfast Steelhead block was about to envelope his flank and start rolling it all up - I'd already killed Alexia with my initial charge.

It was still nail-biting however as a single hit from Gorten can easily kill Ashlynn and he only needed a 7 to hit her after the Landslide, not impossible even with Roulette keeping her safe. By moving first and then activating his feat I couldn't trigger Feint and escape from the combat (eek). Three 6's later Ashlynn just about killed Gorten with a series of Riposte attacks. On my turn I activated Ashlynn first and stabbed Gorten for the last point of damage.

I've just about finished writing my first Pathfinder adventure, I just need to dig up some sort of battlemat - ideally one with squares that can cope with the bases that Privateer Press use, most mats seem to have 1" squares. It's finding a store in the UK that sells the mats that's the problem. If there's no hope of that happening then I'll just have to pick up a roll of 1" squared laminated sheet from the art store.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Simple Butchery

Foiled once again by Jim's cheesey dice of doom. Someday I will grind those dice to powder, from which I shall make the ink to fill out my lottery ticket. It's almost guaranteed to pick the winning numbers.

Using the finalised MKii rules we played pMagnus against eButcher in a 35 point game.

Magnus the Traitor
Boomhowler & Co (full)
Kell Bailoch
Gorman di Wulfe

Kommander Orsus Zoktavir
*Juggernaut (DAMN YOU JUGGY!)
Doom Reavers
Greylord Ternion
Kossite Woodsmen (min)
Winterguard Mortar Crew
Kell Bailoch
Jim appears to be one point short, I believe the Kodiak is listed as 9 points from the Field Test, but has been reduced to 8 points in the final release. We should all blame iBodger!

The game lasted four turns, and Jim got to taste some of his own medicine and I danced about shooting Greylords, Doom Reavers and a Widowmaker before it all came down to the hard, nutty, crunchy phase of melee brawling. On turn four I managed to get most of my spectacular assassination run off only to be thwarted (yes, thwarted) by Jim's Juggernaut getting a crit on the free strike my Nomad needed to take in order to get to the Butcher. Nothing but a crit or a *stupendous* damage roll would have stopped my Nomad from mincing eButcher. A Nomad... with 3 focus... charging against knocked down eButcher with 17 health. The free strike didn't even disable anything, stupid crit freeze! So yeah, Magnus died at the end of Jim's turn 4.

My list may have been almost ideal for taking on Jim's list (and would have been if the Juggernaut hadn't got that crit), as the targets he was trying to get Rage tokens from were either warjacks or had 4+ tough. The combination of Kell Bailoch and Greylords is pretty evil too, just something for those Khador players out there to contemplate.

The Wall of Tough (Boomhowler & Co) really impressed me this game, tying up the Kossites, Widowmakers and Kell Bailoch for the entire game (conversely all those tied up Boomhowler & Co). Personally I feel that this was due to having a painted Boomhowler on the table, which appeased the Dice Gods - they always appreciate the painted miniatures, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Despite 4 turns of being shot by all of the above, Boomhowler and 2 grunts survived until the very end, able to engage the Widowmakers in melee and being in a position to kill the last Greylord.

The final pMagnus was also extremely impressive; being able to give Snipe to a Mule is a godsend, now I can actually shoot things with the useless hunk of junk. This moves it from useless hunk of junk into the realms of Sublime Artillery Piece. I did find that pMagnus spends 2 turns out of focus as he's busy putting up all his upkeeps, but I'm sure I'll put it all together better after a few more games. He's just about as fun as Ashlynn now, something I found surprising. He also seems much easier to use, but that may be due to the simplicity of the list I chose rather than the usual Steelhead zerg.

Lessons Learnt:
pMagnus and lots of heavy warjacks is really, really good.
Having an army that can both smash and shoot is a fantastic change.
Jim's dice may be attuned to the greater workings of Karma itself.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Posting Conflicts

Great, I just typed a very long post about the highlights of my game against Chris at G3 and how it was a rather good game - though Borka didn't die to a 5 focus Ashlynn charging him (that made me a sad panda indeed). Then Blogspot decided that I'd made too many edits and decided not to let me post. GRAHHH! Oh well, an entertaining and highly insightful post (the meaning of life was revealed but alas it is once against a mystery) lost to the ether.

I guess everyone with just have to wait until the weekend for my next exciting and world-shaking post - though it's more likely I'll make an IKRPG-related post. I would kill for a really nice map-maker actually, one that lets me make little encounter maps like you see in Dungeon or any of the old 3.5e adventures. Failing that I'll just have to invest in a scanner or some sort.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Epic Proportions

In a pivotal act of accident I may have caused the explosivo spell to break. Whoops. I feel MacAllan's ruling to be somewhat... well, wrong as now we're getting all sorts of stupid things going on, particularly with Cygnar, with various interactions with explosivo. I'd love for effects like Powerful Shot and Madhammer's feat to work with explosivo as I feel that's how it was intended to work; however, moving into the realm of poisoned blasts or blasts with Arcane Tempest Gun Mage shots is just weird. Poor Macallan's still checking with Privateer Press to find the official ruling. Let's hope the issue is cleared up before January.

My adventure writing for my possibly impending Iron Kingdoms game is going well. Once again it's set in Five Fingers so that characters of every nationality and creed could participate without obvious interference based on sex, race, or species. Or at least any more than normal. I do find the lack of history in Five Fingers somewhat disappointing, there's a very blank slate once you get past the Orgoth Occupation and Sc. Bolis. Who were other (in)famous High Captains, what about tales of buried treasure, who were the peoples' heroes? Rather unfortunately the Iron Kingdoms isn't a setting that venerates the idea of the adventurer.

"But Andy, you Scasian stick-man, it's such an awesome setting!" you may say. Yes, it is, for a wargame. Wars do not support adventurers. How can you do any adventuring when you're off to fight on the front? That's not adventuring, that's warfare. More than a few Games Masters have run successful RPG games based on characters being in the military. Still not adventuring. Adventurers are the Edmund Hillarys, the Captain Nemos, the James Bonds of the age. Adventurers are driven individuals, there is always something more to be done, something more to be achieved. These are people who shape history with their passing. This type of person deserves more than a tawdry trip to the local hole in the ground; they deserve things of epic proportions, they deserve villains and rivals with flair. It's an adventure worthy of these individuals that I aspire to create.

In writing the Corpse Trade (my first Pathfinder adventure) I've come to approach writing events and encounters with the idea of 'would this look awesome in a movie?' Events in the Corpse Trade include a tussle with a trollkin with spikes for knuckles and his pirate cronies, the treasure of a forgotten High Captain, and the plots of a Greylord whose ambition knows no bounds. Something I could use is a Pathfinder monster stat block for a DM to quick-reference, these things are a nightmare.

Sinister Adventures is publishing a very interesting product for those of us with the Dungeon Master species subtype. Some might mistake me for a sycophant of Nicolas Logue, perhaps I may stray into that region as I have so far found no fault with the man; he is a genius in the realm of adventure writing. Do you really want to crawl around in a dungeon for days on end killing groups of monsters or have an action packed adventure worthy of being made into a Spielberg movie? If it's the latter, then Logue is the man for you.