Monday, 30 August 2010

Intrepidations 25 Point Tournament

Hurrah, I'm finally home from running the tournament at Intrepidations in Perth.  It was a fairly small point size but the turn-out was excellent - 14 players - especially considering how many people came in from outside Perth.  It was an excellent chance to meet with the people from Dundee and we dragged several Glasgow players to the tournament (with a minimum of kicking and screaming).  We're only really missing people from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to round out the Scottish ensemble.

Overall the entire event went smoothly, there were no drama issues to deal with and no excessively incomprehensible rules queries to answer.  It actually ran very quickly, we finished about 30 minutes before I expected to.  No one appeared to have any issues with the timed turns, which was slightly surprising given the number of very inexperienced players were attending.  All the issues I were expecting just never came up.

Winner: Jim Lawrence
Second: Adam Davies
Third: Thomas Rolland

Random Painting Prize: Alan Kennedy (initially it was Ken Laidlaw, but getting store credit at the store he owns is a bit of a moot point)
Wooden Spoon: Alan Kennedy
Full rankings can be found on the Warmachine UK forums.

Watching the games, you could generally tell who the experienced players were at a glance: they were the ones running full tilt into the control zones.  The newer players were cautiously advancing forward, perhaps hoping to minimise losses, only to discover they were losing control points at a very rapid pace.  I hope this changes as people get more experienced, I'm sure most of the players learned something new and interesting about the game.

There were a few real highlights to see as I wandered around the tables though:
Tom Hanratty pulled off a very surprising win against John Sinclair in the Revelations scenario (round 1), I was quite impressed with it.  Tom went second and elected to head to where the second flag would spawn and filled that area with the majority of his army.  Once the flag spawned, he camped it for 2 control points and held out until dice down was called - though he'd humped John's heavies by that point I believe.

Murray lost a game to Mark (Fae Perth - it's what his handed in army list says!) as Mark had a unit of Swamp Gobbers touching the flag and Murray had no complete units (or solos) in the zone when dice down was called.  Thus, Mark had a single point in the zone, Murray had none.  Go gobbers!

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and the newer players now crave more of the crunchy goodness that is Warmachine and Hordes.  The next tournament will be at Highlander Games in Dundee on the 31st of October.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Whoops

I totally forgot about Monday's post as I was babysitting - where I discovered there is indeed a limit to the amount of piggyback rides Uncle Andy can give.  Oddly I thought I'd saved the majority of this post on Wednesday night, but apparently it was not so.  Here's a rehash of what I'd written:

I had an educational game against Martin on Tuesday where I used pMadrak against his Zerg Swarm (Mercs in this case).  It's the first time I've been able to get any sort of use with Crusher - I think I killed about 40 models during the feat turn.  Unfortunately Alexia then spawned a bajillion Risen and fried them all to kill Madrak.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Jim and I were having a conversation on the way to a job about list building and he made a comment about someone else's list having nothing unpredictable or surprising about it.  It's certainly a thought to consider seriously when list building.  There was a long-winded and detailed explanation of examples, but the basics of it came down to my Mercenary has surprises in abundance, my Trollbloods list doesn't.  More on this later!

A reminder that Intrepidations is holding a tournament this weekend on the 29th (Sunday).

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Swarm

The Glasgow Summer League is progressing nicely.  Side coaching has gone out the window now - we have adopted the "2 Foot Rule" (aka: "stay the hell away from my table") to help with this.  Since I'm not part of the league (and have no desire to play against Menoth at the moment) I've not been getting games in at the club, which in turn makes me a sad panda - and a worse player, without constant practice you start to lose that edge that made you sharp.  Unsurprisingly Jim is at the top of the league (since I'm not in it really), Murray may or may not have lost to Barry at some point - this is unclear to me as there may have been side coaching involved (and I'm not the guilty party either!).  I'll have to corner one of them about this next week.

I've been twiddling my thumbs over Warmachine and Hordes and come to realise a strange thing: Warmachine's response to Hordes is Infantrymachine.  At high level of play, Hordes clearly has an edge over Warmachine - this is due to the way Fury works.  Yes, we could hear arguments about Focus camping until the sun stops shining, but Fury lets you improvise your turn as it were - you can do more with it (or have more of it on the table - I frequently run out of counters to use as Fury while running either Doomshaper, I wish I had that problem with my Mercenaries).

Why Infantrymachine though?  Focus camping to boost your armour up is a tried and tested technique for keeping your warcaster alive.  The less warjacks you have to dish out focus to, the more focus you can camp.  This is probably best seen with warcasters like Terminus (henceforth 'Big T') who are nigh-untouchable monsters while they camp the majority of their focus.  Less warjacks means more other stuff, typically infantry - and weapon masters at that.

edit: or you know... people could just like their infantry...

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sleep Deprivation

This weekend's amazing discovery: a total lack of sleep does effect game play.  Very poor game against Jim on my part.  I did discover I like having a ranged warbeast though, it does expand my options (I set eIrusk on fire! Woooo).  The Fennblades continue to make me want to /headdesk, so I think I'll experiment in the use of the Long Riders for a bit.

Besides that I'm afraid the weekend was mostly uneventful as I've been immersing myself in Fallout 3.  Once I've cleared the Wasteland of all its mutated scum I'll get some painting done - the aforementioned Long Riders (and Horthol) as well as Jim's Druid Overseer.  The Overseer taunts me from across the desk, as he is not mine but is perhaps my best painting work I've done so far.  Speaking of painting, my old friend Gus has painted Cygnar stuff on his blog, go check it out (and the foamcore buildings).

Friday, 13 August 2010

World Hunger

The first of the Trollbloods tiered lists has been unveiled at Bell of Lost Souls.  We discover that Grim Angus likes Skinners and Alten Ashley.  Can't say I'm a huge fan, but then again I don't play Grim Angus (yet.)  Hopefully we can see one or two of the other tiered lists in the next few weeks before the Trollbloods book is released. Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper.
I think I've given up all hope for the Fennblades, they fail command checks as if doing so would end world hunger.  Out go the Fennblades, in come the Champions or Long Riders in my latest list.  Both of those are Fearless (woot!), though I only have a minimum unit of Long Riders this is countered by my early purchase of Horthol.  If only all these models were painted...

The cover of the Circle Orboros has crept up on the Privateer Press website, it's pretty.  The Warpwolf Stalker in the background has something weird going on with its hand however.  Looks uncomfortable.

edit: Cassius the Oath Keeper has appeared on the Privateer Press website.  He comes with a tree!

Monday, 9 August 2010

It's Character Building

The Big News from GenCon (as if people reading this haven't already found the spoilers) is that all the Warmachine factions (except Mercenaries (WHY OH WHY?!)) are getting new character warjacks.  These come in the form of small blister packs you buy to add the parts onto an existing plastic kit.  Personally I think it's quite ingenious - the blisters take up less room on a rack and more heavy warjack kits get sold.

Triumph - Defender chasis - affinity with Siege
Scourge of Heresy - Vanquisher chasis - affinity with Reznik
Torch - Decimator chasis - affinity with Strakhov
Malice - Reaper chasis - unknown affinity
Discordia - Manticore chasis - affinity with Rahn

Other news is the big list of Skorne goodies that are arriving with their Forces book.  Also on the list are the Druid Wilder, Stone Keeper for Circle (or they would be if Circle players weren't total douches about consolidating their spoilers), and Captain Gunnbjorn for the Trollbloods.  I almost forgot about the Legion spoilers too.

As a Trollblood player I can see why some people would like Gunnbjorn, but he doesn't really wow me.  It's interesting that he brings Critical Devastation (a pretty damn amazing ability in its own right,) Snipe and Rock Wall but I'm more of a punch-in-the-face kinda guy.  Which is of course why I play the Old Man of the Trollbloods...  I'd be much more interested to see what the Trollkin Scouts bring to the table and what they can do for my army.

For those of you who share in my video game obsession, the Warmachine video game by White Moon Dreams finally has a website of its own.  Screenshots from the demo can be found on their forums.

Mentioned Spoilers from GenCon:
Cygnar - Captain Jonas Murdoch
Cygnar - Archduke Alain Runewood
Khador - Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Cryx - Revenant Crew Rifleman
Protectorate of Menoth - Flameguard Cleanser Officer
Cygnar - Storm Strider
Khador - Gun Carriage
Cryx - Wraith Engine

There's also this very helpful interview.

Friday, 6 August 2010

From the Sidelines

While the Summer League has prompted more Warmachine and Hordes games at the club, it has also made people more competitive.  The term "side-coaching" has entered the vocabulary - and I am soaked in guiltiness at committing this new verb.  It comes about when the guilty party (usually Jim or myself) walk up to a table and blatantly state a technique to win the game in the current turn.  This was acceptable before the Summer League as it promoted better game play: when we wandered over and there was no such statement, you became the wargaming version of the Made Man.  Now however, any form of side-coaching, even meaningful stares at potential assassination runs is worth deeming interference.  This has led to two league games being nullified, though all parties concerned are quite happy to schedule a rematch, and it also means an end of one of my guilty pleasures.

Intrepidations is hosting a 25 point tournament on August 29th, run by yours truly.  Luckily I've just forked out a ton of cash for metal rings to mark circular control zones (see how expensive the life of a Press Ganger is?!) and a giant box that jangles arrived at my flat this morning.  The store is in Perth, and the website has a map to the location if people are interested.  Obviously, it will be awesometastic.

A reminder that Kingdom of Adventure has a tournament tomorrow.  At the time of this writing I have no idea if I'm going to go as the bank saw fit to levy me with multiple charges for seemingly mystery items.  A trip to the bank is due in short order.

GenCon Indy (I believe it's Indy anyway) is under way this weekend (possible "now" when the automated schedule posts this) so I expect a fair amount of spoilers and news to post on Monday.

Interesting tidbits from the internet:
Jabba the SkorneRasheth spoilers from the Skorne forum
White Moon Dreams trivia contest (now closed unfortunately but some of those questions are hard, feel free to post what you think the answers are) - actually the winners will be announced by the time this is posted. Woot, I came third.
An enlightening post on the state of Menite afterlife by Doug Seacat
A new competition from Privateer Press!  Warmachine: Wrath lists the next wave of warcasters and their description if you take the time to translate the runes: Constance Blaize, Knight of the Prophet; Thyra, Flame of Sorrow; Kommander Harkevich, the Iron Wolf; Lord Exhumator Scaverous; Lord Arcanist Ossyan; and Captain Damiano.

Interesting note I came across: warjacks with a crippled cortex cannot spend focus.  At all.  If your Deathjack loses its cortex, it still gains 2 focus from the Skulls of Hate, it just can't spend the focus (until it eats someone and recovers the crippled system.)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Autonomous Play

Games were played at Sean Murchie's house on Saturday and I did not emerge victorious with my eMagnus Four Star Syndicate list (of doom).  The list does run like a well oiled machine however, each part does its assigned purpose and on the whole, the job gets done.  I was ultimately undone by my lack of magical attacks - stupid kovaas!

Four Star Syndicate - 50 Points
Magnus the Warlord
*Mangler
*Mangler
*Nomad
*Renegade (bonded)
Cylena Raefyll and Nyss Hunter (max)
Kayazy Assassins (min)
+Underboss
Madelyn Corbeau
Gorman di Wulfe
Rhupert Carvolo
Eiryss, Angel of the Retribution
Dirty Meg

The list is *fast*.  Individual models and entire units can easily redeploy across the table as needed and very aggressive play suits the list - just don't be suicidally aggressive and leave eMagnus out in the open for Mortenebra's Reaper to drag him in.  Key moving parts of the list is the combination of Corbeau and Gorman, who deal with any big threats the opposing list may bring - particularly the likes of Mulg, the Deathjack, or Molik Karn.

The infantry have horrendously high DEF, and seem to survive a great deal of punishment where my previous use of Tough units would have perished.  I suppose if I fought against more AOE heavy armies the situation might be reversed, or if I faced the Winter Guard Death Star style list with all their boosted spray attacks.

Overall I'm quite happy with the list's performance, it does need a little more play time to fine tune the tactics, but it's certainly a list that I'd be tempted to bring along to a big tournament.