Saturday, December 28, 2013

You are your own advocate.

We have a number of Podcast that have pushed about competitive play. We've been both right and wrong to varying degrees about game. You've read pages and pages of our opinions on almost everything but hobby... you know: that questionably fun painting thing.

Several of us actually do paint. I know I am from time to time tapped  to do some work for one company ... and I think they do it out of pity. I've seen the finished product and I'm simply dumbfounded at their output.

One of them told me the other day: " You have to be your own client."
I was reading Meg Maples ( Sorry about the mispronunciation. Your Kung Fu is simply a mystery to me.)

The other day and it suddenly all clicks:

I created an overwhelming work load for myself. Then I created the illusion of an even greater workload by keeping everything visible on my desk. The precise opposite of inspiration.
So this morning I started stripping down my workspace to the bare necessities (Baloo and Mowgli would be proud.). I had not realize how much I had accumulated:

(and yes, the other side is just as full!)

20 cavalry.
100 infantry.
4 medium based solos
2 large based solos
2 objective markers
4 wreck markers
4 warcasters
14 warjacks

And this is all before taking into account that I still have two additional armies planned for this upcoming year (at 50 points each), participation in this year's Orange Crush, and Paint it Pink (which is undersupported, but not forgotten!)

And competition pieces for Crystal Brush.

If you take a step back and look at all that I must hate myself.
The first step to all of it is clearing the desk and treating myself as if I were a client. Something I suggest you do as well. Break out a stopwatch and paint one model to the level you want the entire unit.
  I work in a very technical profession. If I paid myself the same rate the company billed me... I'd best sneeze Golden Demon.  So, in order to be reasonable  (Meg to the rescue! ) I'm paying myself minimum wage.  I based this decision on an old economics professor's suggestion : treat your spare time as what its worth to someone else.

Today I start fresh timing a model to completion.
Let's see what I'm worth.

Friday, December 27, 2013

I love it when a plan falls apart!

I'm supposed to say something snarky here about getting posts up weekly to the blog. Things happen. Plans go awry.
By Thamar's bountiful bodice* we will overcome!
I suppose that's really what this particular rant is all about: making the best of a bad situation.
Sometimes you just can't pull a win out of nowhere. That's the way it goes. You can force a tie.
"A TIE!?!" You say, black hate growing in your heart.  Yes a tie.
While forcing a drumming sound vindictive it speaks to your commitment to your game. It's very easy to simply surrender once victory is beyond your grasp. And I take issue with that simply because we can control our loss.
In Scenario play we know our victory conditions from the outset. we know exactly what we have to do to win and can plan accordingly.  Part of what we do is attempt to make the other person not win. This is expected performance. Its compensated for in Scenario play by having several tie breakers.
There is a stigma towards playing for a tie however. Some sort of assumption that this is bad play or sour grapes. I don't understand that idea. Some of my competitive background punished playing to draw by weighing  a concise victory or loss against the draw.  I understand this convenience for an organizer - figuring out ties and tie breakers and calculating how one could game the system by playing to draw- I just like to see strategic decisions rewarded.

I wonder what the rest of you think - should a Draw be rewarded rather than punished in tournament play?

* scholars argue this is factually inaccurate. We could not find clergy who would comment either way.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

That's it.
Happy Holidays!
All the best to you and yours from us and ours.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Episode 26: End of Season 1

Well folks. Season 1 is coming to a close. The major characters have been established. Some over aching plot has been introduced. Beer has been consumed. This is the last episode for the year. Next year proves to be better and more interactive!

02:15 Intros
03:55 The Maxwell Finn tour!
06:00 Assassin's Creed 4 talk
07:15 Meg Maples' painting class at Huzzah Hobbies
17:13 Talk of a ...I am still not sure I like Richmond weekend
17:44 Christmas (or Marroween)
22:22 Most catastrophic thing to happen to Warmachine/Hordes and food arrives
24:44 My burger is lacking.... interruption....

28:58 James beats everyone on first down and public service announcement
31:04 Ok back on topic
34:14 Best couple minutes of puns
1:04:57 What happened to Grind?
1:10:38 Closing out


Monday, December 16, 2013

Episode 25: Beers of Faith

We are sitting at the house. It is cold out... really cold. But we have beer! Lots.... and lots.... of beer. We break the rules. We keep talking and grab more beer. There is a bonus round and and a second bonus round. Beware.

02:20 Cheers!
02:45 Topic Boy!
05:13 Christmas this week! Models out Dec 18
10:05 Some things we forgot about FoodMachine
12:35 Wargamer Girl's Kickstater objectives came in
15:10 Small discussion on 3rd party stuff
23:41 Force multipliers
41:57 Target Priority and how to make your targets accessible
58:44 The IBU scale and dead cats on frictionless planes
1:01:30 Beers of Faith
1:17:37 The longest closing ever


Getting into higher math

What we're talking about of course is (are?) force multipliers.

So the concept of a force multiplier is very simple.  Where individual Troopers and other assets are in addition to other units a force multiplier allows other units to operate disproportionately better in conjunction.

This disproportionate return is of course subjective and highly dependent on the force you put together. While we continue to suggest a more balanced list construction there continue to be does units that just work better together. The right tool for the right job.

Real world example start with rifles and move through personnel carriers all the way to the aircraft.  On the table we typically call that synergy. For these examples we will be looking at solos and unit attachments.

Gorman de Wulf is a prime example: His abilities change the complexion of a battlefield. 
Rhupert Carvolo might keep making units tough but he does have other abilities to go sadly underused. Gorman Does not have that problem.

Eiryss has seen more action than [ Horrifically inappropriate Comparison]. For good reason: She makes other models much more effective and changes your opponent's target priority.

Why we don't see more Taryn I don't understand. With the prevalence of colossals One would think that being able to ignore a colossal for line of sight would be priceless.

Every faction has them. Best of all they aren't Always obvious choices.  Valachev and Boomhowler are, but there are others that defy sanity until they hit the table.

Using "solo" as shorthand for a force multiplier is misleading. Kell Blaloch has a radically different application from a widowmaker marksman...something I had to look at the cards repeatedly to figure.  Hell: even the iron lich overseer has a place.

Yes ,the Iron Lich Overseer. Quite possibly the worst 3 point solo available - in a fied with a lot of good choices. The only time this guy becomes viable he is a significant force multiplier. ( Machine Minds. NQ45)  they can't all be vassal mechaniks but when a force multiplier signs they truly shine.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Episode 24: Snowpocolypse episode

Because of the DC snow we are recording late. The ice prevented most from showing up, but that won't stop us!
02:05 The beer of the night!
03:23 No Topic boy!
03:51 FoodMachine at Huzzah Hobbies!
09:24 The churches of the game
27:08 Setting up for the minute rant
28:10 Minute Rant: Nathan
30:04 Nathan defends Cryx Overseers - 1st sign of the Apocalypse
31:12 Attrition
50:40 Babbling and Pixar Cygnar
53:50 Listeners! Post pics of your armies!


1:01:48 Adepticon!
1:06:55 Closing out

Monday, November 25, 2013

Episode 23: Abort Abort!

We are recording at the Alamo again and man are our... arms.... tired.... Wow... there is not enough beer for this... Suffer, mortals! For you chose to listen to this... at WORK!

01:38 What are we drinking?
05:23 Cheers
05:40 Colin calls a coin check
09:00 Rules that we always screw up
34:01 Break for Beer Talk
34:38 And back
42:02 Son of a... FINE we will talk about your damn cav! and Warmachine Weekend

OH MY GOD!.... they are still talking about Bane Cav....

1:05:03 Even the mic hated the bane cav conversation and more stuff from Warmachine Weekend
1:11:45 Closings
1:13:00 FoodMachine cause we forgot

Here is the list they need:
1. Stuffing
2. Boxed potatoes
3. Canned Vegetables
4. Gravy
5. Cranberry sauce
6. Grocery Store Gift Cards

Wish List
1. Cereal
2. 100% Juice
3. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
4. Canned Meats (tuna or chicken)
5. Mac and Cheese
6. Chef Boyardee Products
7. Hearty Soups

1:16:59 It is official. We will be at Adepticon podcasting!

Odd the player isn't working. Here is another link.

Listen to this episode

Formalizing your coin check

So the topic of coin check is still something rather esoteric.  Apparently not only does every unit have their own rules for their coin check, the addenda for these rules can get lengthy.

This means we clearly need to publish our Mark II rules:

1: A coin check is Initiated by:
Slapping the coin down on the table, Or rapping the coin 5 times against an empty pint glass and showing the coin to the table. Everyone at the table drinking is obliged to participate. People who have sat out the previous round of drinks and guests of people at the table are not obliged to participate.

A coin check can also be initiated by dropping the coin. This makes the challenge valid to anyone within earshot.

2. Participants are allowed to take one step and reach one arm without tools or assistance to recover their coin. Wheelchair-bound participants are allowed to clear the table and make one full rotation of their wheels in lieu of a step.

3. coins are ranked as follows:
Any military challenge coin at or above battalion level
Steam roller / Painting
Any other challenge coin
Faction medallion

Coins are valued in order of rank 1 through 3. Thus a rank 1 Steamroller coin is outranked by a rank 3 Hardcore coin. All faction coins and medallions are to be treated as equal value within their categories.

4. The time limit for procuring and Displaying a coin is 30 seconds.

5. Once the coins have been displayed the person displaying the highest ranking coin is rewarded by not paying for this drink. The initiator of the coin check is responsible for the winner's drink should they lose.

6. A drink is defined as single standard container and customary portion of the sort of drink being ordered.
A bartenders discretion is always the overriding factor to whether or not a coin check can be completed.
Disputing the bartenders unrestricted veto power is strictly prohibited. Should the bartender not directly to intervene the wait staff at the establishment are empowered as bartender by proxy.
A two-thirds majority of the table may also negate a coin check.

7. Coin checks may be initiated in the following circumstances :
During the Beerthralls podcast
Any table or bar where three or more beerthralls are drinking.
At any away tournament beerthralls are participating in if they are drinking after.
Tea with Nathan's mom. (Caveat Emptor)

8: Misrepresenting the rules of a coin check for personal gain is subject to a twofold penalty:
Paying for the winner of the check's drink.
Drinking the wronged party's choice for their next round.  Bar bet drinks are strictly prohibited.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Episode 22: Randomly randomizing randomization

It was a long weekend... a tourney, work, and lots of traveling. We wake up the more alcohol we get.

01:07 What are we drinking?
02:05 Cheers
03:20 Topic Boy's replacement speaks up... we really need topic boy back...
05:11 The End Games tournament
15:43 Nathan is eating the mic and STILL is silent!
16:33 And back to the tournament
30:47 Break for beautiful women
31:30 Back
36:40 FoodMachine! (shhh... Meg Maples is doing Axis not Syntherion)
40:58 Social Conventions in tournaments
58:51 Minute Rant: Colin
1:00:19 Strength of Schedule (aka WTF?!)
1:08:15 Random stuff
1:19:50 Closing


Achievement Unlocked

One more tournament over. Everyone involved had a blast.
And now for the After Action report:

The results of the tournament will be on this week's podcast... Which is in for editing! 

The results of war machine weekend will definitely be discussed next week.

I, for one, welcome my new victory point overlords. Having seen the trouble and beauty of overwhelming odds on victory points I'm change my mind on assassinations vs victory points. They are now equal in my eyes. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Episode 21: LEGAL!

Sitting at the house because we had a small group and some of us are sick. We field a listener question and poke the anger bear!
02:30 Cheers!
02:45 Topic Boy substitute
03:55 Game plans before you come to the table
05:33 Back on topic
20:07 Noob arrives!
20:44 The Shaft of segue cops
24:19 ish... What happens when a plan goes wrong
34:27 Minute Rant: James
37:21 Some mini talk and flashing
40:22 Dipping
53:00 ish Hobbyist vs Gamer
1:04:00 Beers Down



We all have little rituals preparing for competition.  Special underwear,  insomnia (which made "Rocking Joe" W.  the undisputed butcher of Beltsville) a particular meal the night get the picture.

The Beerthrall Academics are pouring over statistics and rules to assemble numerically superior works of algebraic precision.  The gatormen are learning where all the belt factories are and how to avoid them. Maxwell Finn (so dreamy!) is conditioning hair.

My ritual is slightly more simple:
-practice your list.
-have your tokens counters and tape measures set aside the night before
- go over the scenario once or twice for good measure.
- get a good night's sleep
- throw out every one of these ideas in panic the morning of!

New casters. New army. Not a lick of playtest. Tired. Peckish.

And the question is why?
This is the way I will be playing at convention.
Much as I want to think I will be responsible or that I will be sensible about competition at a larger event the chances of that are fairly slim.  We go to larger events to meet new people and to play games with people we've never met. To go and see new places; if we're lucky we catch up with friends from other events and far away.

So what is my real ritual?

Wake up within an hour of your normal time - you won't be too far off your daily schedule.

Exercise. Yep, I said it. It gets the blood pumping and the body prepared to operate at higher output. Nothing over the top mind you: some situps a few pushups and run 3 flights of stairs.

Get breakfast within 1 hour of getting out of bed.
This is the one that seems the most crazy. Especially for those who think that two hours to wake up is normal.  Worse yet can't be that self indulgent pancake breakfast! That country omelette with extra mushrooms with a side of toast has the mix of protein and carbs to fuel you to the next lunch break. I mix a cup of coffee into a protein shake and munch a croissant. And take your vitamins!

Get a bottle of water. Drink it throughout your game. Go to the WC between games.  You'd be surprised the impact on your morale.

Meeting the Pope for a job interview level. Again with the morale; And it's just nice to make a good impression on people. You're going to be in a space with a lot of people. For a long time. Best to help minimize the funk.

Dress comfortably.
This means well fitting clothes not barefoot and sweatpants. And spring for some Dr Scholls - you'd be amazed how much your feet contribute to your mood.

So my ritual is much less sacrificing a chicken to my baseball bat and much more being realistic about my event.

And I'm serious about the chicken thing. The dice just don't care.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Dia de Los Muertos

I love the Day of the Dead - this is what pushing through the witching hour was for!
Respect and rememberance of the loved ones we've lost and a memento mori to keep us aware of what we have.

On this most auspicious of days we talk about dead things coming back.

Mostly because its sincerely one of the more annoying mechanics in the game.

Bringing models back into play can be a bear to overcome.  Cryx and its dual necrosurgeon can make a wall of Mechanithralls an intimidating prospect - bringing up to six back every round. Blackbane's Raiders, Captain Rengrave, and Tartarus...or Goreshade the Cursed's Elite cadre wear thin on a player's morale.  The Harbinger of Menoth and her penchant for keeping those pesky solos nearby and all too irritatingly alive.  Rask, and Morvannna.  Would you Please leave that stuff over with the rest of the dead models!

If we walk through every step of killing off a model




Removed From Table
Removed From Play

the critical steps are fairly self evident. 

What makes these particular mechanics more frustrating than oh so many others is that countering this sort of thing is extremely challenging.   I consider this possibly the most insidious issue to overcome in the game.  Boxing models is simple - yet reacting to sudden reinforcements turns strategy to tactical response.  Goreshade the Bastard's feat is underrated for this very reason where 3Morvanna and other casters that can bring models back are obviously powerful.

From a points perspective bringing models into play is extremely efficient.  Given two Necrosurgeons (4 points) can bring back 6 models each they've returned twice their cost to play…and presented these threats in a position that their points value is deceptive.  What value a friendly model kept in play an extra two turns? What value redirecting the opponent's target priority to an inexpensive support unit? The Withershadow Combine's habit of taking points away from the opponent and adding them to your own with Dark Industries...the list goes on.

While the solution to these issues seems fairly straightforward: Kill the Batman we're still left with compensating with that opponent.  I'm still turning this thought experiment over some - I'll try to get back to you all with my solutions soon.


Episode 21 is done recorded!

Just wanted to tell everyone that Episode 21 is done recorded and should be released Tuesday.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Episode 20: We're not drunks. We're professionals!

EPISODE 20! At the house, drinking, and talking Warmachine!

02:15 What are we drinking?
03:22 Cheers!
06:33 TOPIC BOY!
07:06 Recap of the Huzzah Hobbies 50 pt Steamroller Tournament
16:19 We should do Hardcore!
20:49 Some games of the tournament
42:45 Dealing with your TO
48:00 The Minute Rant: Nathan! (with Bonus rant!
51:29 FoodMachine fun
52:53 Transition to dealing with Tough Casters
1:07:20 Wrap up


Thursday, October 24, 2013


This is probably where I break out get another soap box.

Ours is a fairly expensive hobby. Let's face it we've got just a little bit extra. If you're like me much of it is around your middle! We can afford to miss a meal or two.

We love to go on at length about what is fair and not fair. About what is balance and what is broken And what really needs to be fixed. And the general consensus is that our favorite faction could really use this other thing.

As much as it pains me to admit it I like people. Not individually But the idea and the things that people have achieved: The Egyptian pyramids, Stone Buddha That last centuries, The Great Wall of China. So I'm really confused when people go hungry. We certainly can produce food. We can ship it all around the world. Keep it fresh with refrigeration and modified Atmosphere Or super pasteurization.  Somehow people that can create such amazing things can't figure out how to make sure nobody goes hungry for very long.

I admit I'm is bad as the next guy when it comes to seeking out ways to make the world better. It just seems to me this one is a no brainer.

While we've been blogging about tournaments in playing games we've only talked about our favorite charity a couple of times on the podcast. So if you're tired of hearing it you probably want to move on to the next post.

Foodmachine: Desperately serious. Hilariously funny.
I can go on and on about how your local food bank needs help. How people somehow end up going hungry and we can help.
Save the money you spend going out to dinner, Or from bringing your lunch to work and/or school for a couple of weeks.
Put another $10 aside to try to win the raffle for project Orange Crush.

Then go to a foodmachine tournament.
That's what I'm doing this weekend instead of taking the gold steamroller coin at my FLGS.
Everybody runs foodmachine Just a little bit differently So you have to watch closely For the venue rules.
Some food banks prefer to collect cash.. This is good simply because we already carry around a lot of heavy toy soldiers!

Its a charity tournament. You're not going to play your absolutely hardest. You're going to go to play silly and fun. You're going because it's a tiny effort that makes a huge impact on the people it helps.

And I hope you have such a good time you tell all the folks you know and game with.
Then you host your own.
I want the chance to do more travel!


Monday, October 21, 2013


Welcome back to the normal crew at the Alamo on Sunday minus Topic boy... Eternal Guest is feeling ill.

04:55 Topic... Cat herder?
05:20 Prepping for the Steamroller: Dealing with Timed Turns instead of Death Clocks
23:35 Purification: How do you deal with it?
30:30 Minute Rant: Caleb goes off about Purification
49:25 How to break yourself in a rut with your faction
1:04:00 Randomness... we just tal. You can end it here... seriously.... rambling


Statistics - AKA Social Engineering* ...with numbers.

* some of us call it just plain lying.

Statistics are good to get a general feel for things - but the big lesson from statistics is in gathering your data. If you believe in numbers our friends at endgamegameing (dot) net are here to help.
Until you scroll on down to the stats for Khador and Doomreavers where numbers get wonky.  Technically this means that more than one unit was used per player.  Good Golly they must be awesome!!

Or, just maybe, some folks skewed the numbers. Maybe a eButcher list... So what we really want to do is look at how the numbers were collected.  Strangely this does reinforce the argument that casters with certain tools were skewed towards...well, listen to the podcast. You'll get it. These are the most straightforward casters. Their behaviors are very consistent and are fairly homogenous. 

We talked at length about how to make 50 points an army work - and here it is:
(in case you forgot)
Play Your Army
Play to Kill the Caster
Play the Mission

Play the Opponent's Army

Cut and dried.

So: What do these statistics say to me?
I can plan to see the netlisters bring these and try to cram them down my throat.
These are the lists to practice against to be aware of their play.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Episode 18: Dirty Tips and Tricks 3

Three of us sit around my table and drink... well cause we can. The small group talks out the dirty tips and tricks we do with our armies. If you missed Dirty Tips and Tricks 2: Cryx, don't worry.... you will see it soon... bwahahahaha

03:28 Topic Boy gets channeled
03:30 Convergence of Cyriss dirty tricks
07:45 Dragging your own models
09:45 Back to the CoC Corollary
12:15 Cygnar
13:20 Menoth
13:39 Khador Pony Vlad
15:00 Legion of Everblight
17:00 Shooting yourself in the back
18:50 Chain weapons
20:00 Shield Wall triangles
24:13 You don't get paid to come home with models
26:15 Incorporeal models blocking charge lanes
27:00 Pardon the interruption...
28:45 Overtime?
29:17 Incorporeal models again
29:50 Trollbloods
31:00 Foodmachine fun
34:45 Bring every model in your list
36:15 Special attacks on Colossals and Gargantuans
38:45 FoodMachine!
51:45 Tournies
59:30 Huzzah Hobbies' Winter Wonderland
1:01:30 Last beer down


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Episode 17: The late-cast

Sorry... We have been very lazy/busy and didn't have much time to edit. Here it is though!

00:40 I want a milkshake!
01:39 What are we drinking
04:26 Topic Boy! Topics!
04:46 Warmachine or Hordes - Which is better?
27:28 Segue to Apology Models
33:35 A Kilted Nathan appears
42:47 Events and Nathan meets a listener!
57:00 Minute Rant: Jake
59:03 Nathan finish your beer... and die trying
59:54 Last Beer Down

Download the Maxwell Finn Appreciation Society Theme Music! (right click and save)

Friday, October 4, 2013

A break in the storm

I want to thank all our listeners and readers.
You all have been very patient this past week while some of the thralls are trying to get their stuff together thanks to this government shutdown. 
The practical effect of this is That last week's podcast has been delayed And will probably be edited at the same time as this week.

We are so glad we don't have paid advertisements!

So just as a reminder Check our facebook page For some of the good news that came about this week And some tournament Information"


Saturday, September 28, 2013

We found listner 4!!!

The one listener not having tea with mom showed up for the Steamroller at Dragon's Den today!!

And he recognized us by voice! Amazing!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Episode 16: Potatoes in the oven

The protagonists all randomly walk into a dark pub called the Glass Half Full. Once there, a mysterious stranger of varying dubiousness approaches offering a job. A job... to make a podcast and not kill each other...

They failed!

01:56 What are we drinking?
03:46 Cheers!
04:00 Topic Boy is putting potatoes in the oven
04:25 Whoring out! Richmond Breweries!
06:20 How are the shirts coming along?
09:25 We are an idiots... Oct 26th is the 50 pt Steamroller at Huzzah Hobbies, 35 pt Steamroller at Dragon's Den in Richmond Sept 28
10:10 Still no Warmachine talk....
11:00 Holy God! We are now getting to topics
11:35 BeerThralls Order of Activation
11:55 First Turn Advantage
20:40 A small interruption talking about Equilibrium scenarios
22:05 Guest arrives!
22:20 Back on topic
27:53 Segue into The Art of Deployment
33:47 Small interruption to talk about the No Quarter Brisbane list and Silverline Storm Guard/upgrade units
33:55 Back to Art of Deployment and a little about first turn
52:10 One Minute Rant: Victor rants about painting
55:42 Last Beer Down

Monday, September 23, 2013

Holy crap! They did a Battle Report!

No kidding! We actually Play!

50 points - New casters.  
Mortenebra Tier 4 for Cryx (Nathan)
Syntherion for Convergence (and James's deep manly weeping about the tier.)
The Mission: Chemical Reactions

 Gentlemen! Start your Engines!  Cryx and a liberal application of Terminal Velocity makes short work of deployment zones.  This is also why selecting your table side is important!  I didn't have cattle fences to cross.  From the Cryx perspective being outnumbered is terrifying - I have all the respect for infantry born of Bane Thralls.


The good, the bad, And tyhe ugly lists

We gamers plove to argue about statistics. Typically it Godwins down to a discussion of " X is numerically superior to Y. It should cost more resources than Y" vs "Y has proven to be a sincere problem in the past and consistently beats my X".

If only these two statements had any relation. There is a perennial discussion about how warmachine is so very unbalanced.  I'm not in the camp to believe Warmachine is inherently unbalanced but I understand most of the reasoning.

Peel away the subtle nuances of movement and obstacles like buildings,hills, bushes and the like and all we have are quantifiable values.  These sort of things are very difficult to dispute effectively until we invoke the unquantifiable value of things like Stealth, Flank. Take Up... Suddenly things have gotten murky.

Cygnar long gunners for example:
Have a fairly average accuracy, reasonable range and pow, up to two shots and light armor. The general consensus amongst Cygnar players is that they're an also-ran to other units like gunmages.  I disagree because there's a qualia to certain units.

It seems bizarre to hear a person who is pushing for more tournament attempt to discuss anything but quantifiable examples and statistics. Of the group of us I'm probably be least likely to run any statistics or theorymachine.  I focus on function and synergy rather than the numbers. 

Because of this I support certain units generally accepted as bad... well over shadowed by other units. Long gunners, sword knights, zealots, deliverers, and several Cryx jacks.  Heck I even like some of the light artillery!

I think it's the difference between qualitative and quantitative that really makes is people up in this game. "P,Q and R All really work well together. Why not Q,V and J? The numbers...."
Bile thralls,  for example are simply atrocious according to their statistics. Everything about them says that these models need to be left out of a list... except that awesome and completely subjective special attack they have. How do you quantify the value of this particular attack?  How do you quantify two combined ranged attacks but only some of the time?

Its variables like these that make most tournament players very uncomfortable with some units. For the most part its seen as gambling and inconsistency is inherently bad in that environment. I disagree. I find these units particularly valuable because opponents don't expect consistent behavior or they expect significant investments in resources to bring these units in line with other "superior" units.

Units may come and go. Their popularity me shifts with changes to tier list or unit attachments. casters may trigger off units that seemed substandard.  Give them a couple of tries and you might find yourself a new and interesting tool.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pro scrub and anti scrub

We talk a whole lot about competition. About challenges and about what's going on with our local gaming scene... even though 200 miles seems to be what we qualify as local.   Sometimes we forget that some players play simply for the love of the game. 

One of the things we talk about is to play what you want to play and not to let other people dictate how and when you play.  I probably should expand that into playing painted vs unpainted.

I'm guilty of being a hobbyist. I want my boy Barbies to be visually appealing.  And boy am i guilty of expecting other people to want the same thing. The fact of the matter is people would play just as well with tokens as with toy soldiers.  When I saw a player effectively rolling parts into a ball with glue, placing it on a base, and essentially calling it done the other day I couldn't contain myself.

With as much as these game pieces cost and the time we invest in these games I imagine people would want to spend time making their toys look good. I am of course wrong.

Its not that I actually see the pieces as deserving some special attention so much as a reflection of self respect. I suppose it's similar to how some athletes find people who don't conform to their body type repulsive. They see it as self respect too.

So if you see me don't be afraid remind me that my painting looks like finger painting by the color blind epileptics under the strobe lights at a rave.

I most assuredly need to be taken down a notch... and if you play better than I do its just apropos! Just go out and do your best and the rest will fall into place.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ep 15: Dot Dot Dot I Don't Think I Like Richmond

And we invaded Richmond ... and Richmond attacked back with beer and crappy hotels. I think we lost this fight and retreated back to NOVA. Oh God! An hour and 30 minutes...

01:14 Recording from Strangeways!
02:00 What are we drinking?
04:39 Cheers!
06:36 The Invasion recap
17:10 First beer down
35:36 Second beer down
37:48 Steamroller down at Dragon's Den
38:04 Colin tries to transition and I steal it!
38:10 How to chose tournament lists
47:07 A wild person appears and starts talking to us....
47:38 and Colin brings us back to the topic at hand
57:28 How does the list choosing work in a Steamroller
1:14:14 Suggestions for people coming back into the game
1:28:38 Minute Rant: Nathan rants about terrain
1:30:25 Power is about to die so we end


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Strangeways and means committee

A great big thanks to Strangeways Brewery for letting us record Podcast 15 In the heart of their Brewing Laboratory!

This weekend we sat around to discuss List building and theory  crafting... and of course go way way off topic. We didn't touch on theory  crafting enough.

Putting together a list it seems to work well on paper (duck taco) just isn't enough. Like science it requires peer review from neutral third parties.  Specifically people waiting outside your meta. Reviewing a list in a group of the same bias simply does no good.

What are the things that makes our team so much less dysfunctional ( beer!) is that we disagree so much! Shane for example plays Cygnar In a manner that many forums would say is wrong. It's hard to argue results. Neither of our Cryx players can agree - They even play the same caster differently.

To really test theory we have to go to someone else's lab. We know how each other play.  We can anticipate each other from experience thus the need for a third party.

Forums are excellent for Basic theory crafting. Sharing ideas general principles is very effective in treating people and for shaking the worst kinks out of a list. But a single forum is likely to congeal into a single meta.  At some point it is very likely for that forum to lock step and limit outside thought.  Not because of malice but because of inertia.

So go meet new people. Go play in their laboratory. Learn from another part of the community.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Episode 14 - Wallystomped?

We are back at the Alamo to record another episode of the bestest Warmachine Hordes podcast that there is!
Well it was going to be but then Topic Boy got sick and we decided to record in a copper kettle so...
We were stuck in the back room which had horrible reverb
00:35 What are we drinking
02:00 Substitute Topic Boy!
02:28 Cheers
02:46 High Command review
04:00 We are ordering but the tape was still rolling
04:21 Back from ordering
11:00 Speaking of Tournaments - Stop having fun! Dave Sirlin's opinions
18:28 Plug for Cripple System
22:08 The Rule of Cool... well we tried
23:24 The BeerThralls Invasion of Richmond itinerary
25:18 Back to the Rule of Cool (Hold my Beer and watch this fun!)
39:07 This is hard. I'm lazy.
40:26 The great scattering
41:22 Back to topic
53:20 Two members of the BeerThralls have never seen 5th Element. Get em!
55:40 Victor Wins
56:40 James' Minute Rant: The NOVA Open painting competition
57:40 Painting in competitions and tournaments
1:02:55 The ending


Tell me about the meta of your home shop Usul ...

Despite my irrational love for Frank Herbert It becomes a valid question.

" Tell me about your local meta." Will get you respect and camaraderie in a single breath. Everybody loves to talk about themselves and they love people who seem interested in them.
We could discuss the ulterior motives of asking questions like this but I'd rather just dismiss them as the parallels to that first date. Also it makes them more likely to forgive you when critical devastation throws a warjack onto their caster...

Ask a person about the local meta and you can expect about 15 minutes talking about their local gaming.  Yes it's reconnaissance but it gives you something in common and open them to ask you the same question.
I can't write this as a dating guide for Fremen... but I can give you pointers on how to get a better sportsmanship score.

" That was great how you..." < Insert there most frustrating or bizarre move here> " Where were you going with it?"    Because now that you're interested it's safer for them to explain their technique. That probably will give you better insight into other players of that faction.

" I really messed up at... what would you have done in my place?" If they balk follow up with " seriously. Almost anything would help. I make this mistake a lot."
Now its back to them to teach you. You've given their ego a Scooby Snack so they'll probably offer something.
Thank them and shake their hand.   You'd be amazed how simple handshake and a thank you will get a person to remember you. If they remember you were polite or they taught you something they are more likely to think positively of you.

     You'll notice everything so far has been essentially asking someone to give you something. Advice, compliments, insight.  This is to take advantage of cognitive dissonance -  people like to have reasons for what they do. Helping a stranger and giving them advice should have some sort of reason. The brain will make up a reason - usually something to the effect of "I just like that person". 

Take a moment. Learn from someone else. Grow the community. (And maybe a leg up on sportsmanship.)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Narcissism and competition

A lot of you are going to go out and going to research game theory and how to be "better". Chances are you find page 5 of the mark 1 books and latch on to that idea. I can only hope for a little while.
In your reading you will undoubtedly run into You might as well read Tucker Max. Both leave a sort of indelible stain on your view of people and of gaming in general. To say I don't support the context of their writing is generous. Sirlin doesn't care (I'm a scrub) and Tucker... his theory says he can sod off anyway.
Lets go over some of their major points:

If its in the rules it's perfectly OK.
There's a difference between the method and the goal. The rules are the method with in which we operate; the goal is victory. Using the rules to our advantage is therefore not only expected it is necessary.  There are no legal actions that are inappropriate and meta behavior is fair game.

     Bobby Fischer had a problem with this and got his own musical. McEnroe, Rodman... all famous for bizarre activities and a temper tantrums that brought a different element to their competition - the mental meta game. Sirlin's theory  argues that this is "up to you" while reinforcing it as valid behavior discussing a person's "fear aura".
     By mentioning intimidation as a valid tactic and reinforcing it as not expressly forbidden in the game or the tournament it has been tacitly approved.  I argue this demonstrates a lack of confidence in one's own ability.

We make our own victory and sabotage it in our associations.
Winning is as much a state of mind as it is behavior. Associate with people of a different mindset and you will be compromised by their mindset. Like must therefore associate with like.

     Utter bollocks. While studies do show the people reflect the values of the five people they most associated with - a diverse group consistently demonstrated greater prosperity and trended towards higher education. Correlation is not causation but this does suggest having a mix of points of view is a more successful strategy.
     A sense of community and respect presents a better opportunity for growth. Not only do the less skilled players become better but the average skill set trends upwards.  This is why people attend things like Toastmasters. If one really wants to improve their skill teaching is a very valid option. ( see also:  how to get to Broadway)

The teacher and the slaughterer
The top skill set in a field has two options: operate at maximum capacity until they are consistently defeated or uplift the skill set of those around them.

      There is no option. Slaughterer trains the local game to adapt to the slaughterer. The teacher grants an opportunity to continue growth.  I prefer the metaphor of the farmer and the wolf: the farmer grows and nurtures an area while the wolf hunts until its driven off or killed. The farmer can have good and bad seasons but the wolf drives away competition.
     This means the Slaughterer actively poisons the community. To develop and grow an event an incentive has to exist for newcomers to participate.  Constant defeat at the hands of more skilled players drives newcomers out and reduces the pool less skilled have to practice against.  

     What bothers me most is that you're going to read this diatribe of abusive asshattery (yes, we still cite our sources!) and think "this guy has it right!".  He codified two tropes that can reconcile with the concept that Competitive Play and Casual Play are both valid, and must not attempt to dictate to each other.
       This is not entirely true either. One thing we continue to lose track of his that this is "play". That player with a limited budget for playing, and that player who's trying to use less efficient tools to learn these tools better certainly isn't a scrub. They're playing. Tournament events like "who's the boss?" (Randomize warlock/caster) or Highlander (there can be only one...of anything) is inherently play.

But where am I really going with this?
- if you are not having fun in this game and your opponent is not having some degree of fun you need to stop. If you can't be courteous because you must crush your opponent please leave. if you can't be supportive and help people learn please go find another game.

" How sad to see a model of decorum and civility become a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee" ( Chess. Go watch a musical. Get some culture.)

Try to remember that once the clock starts you might be oponents, but there was a before and is an after. Shake hands, congratulate the winner, and go see what's happening on that for table. The person you just played might have an interesting perspective.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Terrain Rage Pt II - Electric Boogaloo

So, I read all sorts of blogs (And, if you're listening to the internets about my habit for DragonCon themed ero fanfic,  Haters gonna...I digress.)  and I don't stick to just one genre of minis gaming because I could use to learn from anyone.

Thanks Felix for the photos.
Take a look at this wide open field. Two hills, an obelisk, a cookie, and some objectives. Love you dearly Fritz, but WHAT. THE. FUCK?

For the love of gamers everywhere, stop.  Use more terrain.This is pathetic. Easy to produce for a tourney. Still crap.

The good news is that the guys at Feast of Blades also give you crap. Sorta. It works for 40k. Mostly.
Adepticon? You guys can do better.Yes, dozens of tables...but that swamp...why did it even hit the table? There's no use for it.
And the guys at the Warstore are awfully sparse too.

(  Felix is gonna get mad at me for eating up his flickr bandwidth  )  THIS is the table people want to fight on.  Yes, there are two HUGE terrain pieces, but small changes to this and everyone's going to ooh and aah over it.

There are no 48" guns in Warmachine; 23 is as good as it gets. There's no reason not to have much more terrain.

Look at play on thisthisthis thisor this!


Why I want to play hardcore

This one's going to be a bit more stream of consciousness and the rest:
Hardcore is, to me, is the target to play at for most Systems anyway. Play your absolute best. Paint your own stuff to the best of your ability. Face new people, and come back next year hungry to win.
And is most certainly not about:
200 kilo man children with hygiene  problems trying to find their  place in a fairly segmented social group.
Internet fame. Seriously who cares? This blog tends to be full of a degree of fan abuse for a reason : no matter how awesome we are at a single game if we don't carry that bit of our drive to achieve to other parts of our lives all the shiny coins and trophies mean nothing! .
Respect? HAHAHAAHAHAHHAAHA! For playing with dollies?  The reason we don't make fun of the women who fly 3000 miles to play with Polly Pocket is that those ladies are crazy. They're likely to cut you. My crazy requires I pretend to have achieved something - and doesn't mind being rewarded with shiny dollies and beer!
I'm still not convinced list building is anywhere near as nuanced as the internet swears it is.  And I know I'm going on this particular rent before.  Pick a caster add a colossal crowbar in infantry of your choice. Rinse. Repeat.  That's 18 or 19 points in one spot - two warjacks. I'll bet five points to disable it every time. One big lump of wasted points.

I just want the challenge - I want to go get busted up by new and interesting people.


We are now on Facebook!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Episode 13: Now with more anger

This week we once again sit around the trusty table... no wait... this isn't our table! GET OUT OF OUR TABLE!

Fine... we will sit at this one and record.

00:40 We found our fourth listener!
01:12 What are we drinking?
02:52 Cheers!
03:09 Topic Boy!
04:27 GenCon report
12:15 Owen plays a tournament....
15:00 BeerMachine
16:05 Rapid Fire Tournaments/events
28:30 How do you deal with argumentative opponents?
32:05 A keg dies and a new one is born
42:12 Tournament terrain
1:00:05 And we are waiting on Nathan....
1:00:30 Last Beer Down\Worst Sign Off Ever


Monday, August 26, 2013

An open letter to our moms:

If you haven't spent a lot of time listening to our  podcast you might be shocked to hear all of the ribald and blatantly disrespectful comedy that revolves around "our mom".
I would like to remind our readers that our moms have to be fairly tough ladies; they suffered through us as children tolerated us as adults and still claim us as their children!

I ,for one, I'm glad our moms don't bring their A game the tournament with us. After seeing the bare knuckles brawling events that they call "ladies pinochle night " play like you've got a pair" could set a bad precedent for escalation.
That and my running fear of being defeated by custom embroidered lace doily AOE.  Out of nowhere we'd be up to our necks in gatormen with trophy coins!!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

MiniEpisode 12.5: From the Ram at GenCon!

Ladies and gents, every year at GenCon Privateer Press takes over the Ram. In honor of the awesome game and love for the fans they commission a special brew to reflect the game in the last year. This year was the SteelSoul Red. Listen as we sit around and drink all the past years' flavors and review the newest brew.

Hint: We ended up going to the Ram at least once a day. Go!


Saturday, August 24, 2013


At another brewery in Five Fingers (Center of the Universe) we have beaten Borka to his namesake again.
They had to change kegs for three taps.



Do you know how to get to Broadway?

Practice. Practice.  Practice.
Interestingly enough Studies show this is the way most professional level performers attain and maintain their edge. Significant practice of the basics with a scattering of challenging variations.  Interestingly the opposite of how to build muscle - high intensity practice over a shorter duration.

" Ok great it's trivia day at the beerthralls..."  No ,we haven't been hitting the sauce early, and it's not the DTs.  Infuriated Inebriates or not we are sincerely trying to be better even arguably competitive.

Head on over to our friends at and take a look at the composition of tournament lists for each faction. Despite everyones opinion on unit efficiency we do see the same elements repeated over and over:
The basic tactics of each faction drilled the point of mechanical precision. 

This is why I support events like "rapid fire " where one plays as many low point games as possible. Nothing like four hours of battle box games to drill the basics in. (That should be approximately at 10 games.)
To really stretch your skills: 7 minute turns and a death clock is amazing for keeping you on your toes.

Why does this even come to mind you ask? This is also going to be our November training regimen. While at least one of us in their magnificent bastardry won't have a problem with this I know I'm going to shed a few mental pounds just knocking out the basics.

We talk about things like timing your feat or knowing your units but aside from practice there is very little way to get those skills up to speed at the same time.  And it's not necessarily going to be fun. Keeping up to very stringent tournament standards is stressful. It may make us want to swear off tournaments for a while.  Getting in shape about the goal and not how unpleasant it is to get there.

So go play someone who's better than you. Its going to hurt your pride a little. Practice is practice and the only important victory is the one that brings home your coin.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week 9 of the divorce.

Yep. That's it.
We are done. Its not you, Trollbloods, its me. I'm just not that into you. You're beautiful and your backstory is fascinating.... but its just not working. Maybe we can just be friends?

And that is how I went back to my freaky Cryx gaming. I'm back to regularly practicing my main list -Scaverous isn't everyone's cup of tea.  He certainly don't want I would call a standard tournament caster: hell even the majority of cricket players look at him a little funny. Then again they look at Terminus much the same way.

The worst part about this whole escapade has to be that it hasn't broken my fascination with Trollbloods and the potential of their shooting. I don't quite a drive with the playtesters' line of thought but I suspect that's the general consensus amongst Trollblood community. Many of their weapons are almost spectacular: generally they need one more rat and one more pow. The ranges are just about right, and their special abilities are except in 2 cases spot on. The sluggers need to have strafe all the time and the thumper needs to have the same effect on all bass sizes.

As a reader one might wonder whether or not I intend to continue to have several factions. I was faction monogamous never even looking at the stray mercenary since Prime. I think I like it here able to fool around with whatever faction I like. In fact I have my eye on a little number with thick armor and there's one I have a little electricity with...


Take me to the river.

This being the Internet We could just be talking heads.
But seriously take me to the river!
There are several Paragraphs about just that In both Warmachine and Hordes core rules. What about this precious precious thing is so terrifying that you will barely see it on a table?
Warmachine players of course fear anything that can take their warjacks out of play and rightfully so: two simple elements (knockdown and the water itself) and huge swaths of their army suddenly go down without rolling a die.
Warbeast only get wet.
Terrain rules are fairly elegant: fall X, bounce into / off y, crowd as close as you can to z. We ooh and aah about a pretty table with all sorts of terrain...then settle for a couple of 4x6 rectangles,  a kidney shaped hill or two, and a few shrubs.
Maybe its the overlap from other games. The 40k "4 ruins and some blocked LOS in the middle" meets regiments scale games' "big open field in the middle ". How boring is that?   What happened to small skirmishes across canals and taking control of mills while defending the waterwheels?   Where are the ponds people love to live near? Take and hold a bridge?
Uh -huh. "Only those cheating Cryxian bastards have amphibious... "
When did warmachine players get whiny?
Read one of the Unbound scenarios : place 5 hills plus whatever ... then later in the game flood everything not a hill with shallow water.
Water, as with obstacles, concealment, cover, and blocking terrain not only provide us with tactical and strategic challenges,  but options.  Walls, hedges, and forests hardly make sense as the primary things to fight around.
When units are the primary obstacle the game has less depth. We aren't forced to look into as many application as we could be:
How can I exploit arcing fire?
How does chain lightning change the battlefield?
How do I tie units up with the building here?
What is the advantage of a slam or push rather than just beating the hell out of the target?
Don't get me wrong,  eyeless sight and pathfinder are cool, but if your opponent ignores trees and clouds why wouldn't you draw them into a town where you can take advantage of buildings? Those venators have more than enough common sense to kick a door open and start shooting from windows.
"Oho! Sneaky Cryx player, you're trying to make ghostly and incorporeal better!"
Sadly, just the opposite.   It takes just 6 models to turn a 4"x6" space into an impossible parking space for incorporeal small bases. Forget the mayhem of long gunners in a farmhouse.
I want to see something more than a shooty Jack with its toe on a hill to gain +2 defense. I want to see a unit of storm knights freak out because that Destroyer just took out the farmhouse wall they were behind!
Maneuvering around all this terrain makes having a +1 to determine board edge much more valuable. It changes Advanced Deployment from a reactive means to reinforce into a much more strategic tool.  Anastasia Di Bray is there for a reason!
Another idea: once your board is set up remember that 4x4 can be turned 90°! You pick your edge and lay out objectives after!  Ok, that one only works when you really can turn the table (ha-ha! A pun!), but it does make one think.

So, yeah, take me to the river. Drop me in the water. Just make it a > 1 inch drop - every little bit of damage helps!

Episode 12: The Coin Episode

Hey Gamers' Lounge Bill! I found the Noise Reduction feature!

This week Topic Boy is on vacation with the Eternal Guest so we try our best to dig through without his guidance.

01:07 What are we drinking?
03:32 Cheers!
03:45 No topic boy!
04:03 Coin check
05:23 Dragon's Den in Richmond, VA is awesome!
08:21 The actual tournament itself
19:30 Learn to pop your feat at the right time flashback
20:55 Small discussion on the BeerThralls Bar Crawl and Strangeways
24:15 Finding your Style (dubstep mix!) (Listen for Shane assassinate Owen's conversation)
40:10 Gaspy defined!
41:05 Back to topic
45:20 A Wild Caleb appears!
1:00:00 Last Beer Down


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Delay on Episode 12

Due to the person who edits the podcast (ehem... me) being at GenCon this week, the podcast will be delayed until next week. Don't worry. You can always relisten the old episodes and rate us highly on iTunes!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting past that first step - your first tournament.

I'm a huge fan of the trial by fire. I like that moment of confusion that makes one conscious of their incompetence and forces us to learn.

Last week there was a great hullabaloo about Beerthralls at a steamroller.  Lets tone it down a bit: it was four people strong - three of us Beerthralls.  The truth is that one of us won because of: luck (retribution mage hunters versus banespam stealth) and a mistimed feat (Constance Blaize vs. Scaverous). Second/third place came down to army points.

Fourth place had played a whole lot of theorymachine, and lost track of the sequence:

Play your army
     Be aware of what your army does and does not do well.  Know each unit's primary and secondary tasks.
Play for Caster kill
    Self explanatory.
Play the Mission
     If you're playing a mission there are objectives to achieve. Objectives are usually the first tiebreaker for win/loss. Points are usually second. This is the fastest way to slip down your rankings in larger events.
Play the opponent's army
     Sometimes we know the opposing army, or have soaked up secondary knowledge on a faction. Knowing what is a good move for the opponent can let you bait a trap.

I'm becoming more convinced that breaking from this pattern is toxic to competitive  play, and paradoxically useful to force learning.

Fourth place however was, IMHO, critical to learning. To me this is more important than a shiny coin.
The overwhelming sense of being lost in cards, traits, an unfamiliar mission, and a new caster is better for learning even mired in the amazing level of suck.

Conscious incompetence forces us to look at what we've done and see if we can apply the lessons from losing to another game.  We look at avoiding the same situation un the future tether than taking the same route to victory we had before.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beerthralls rampage through Five Fingers

So, the Beerthralls have finished their rampage and taken Steamroller at Dragon's Den.
Ladygrue, with grand, steam powered , fully boosted brass balls showed us all up by playing two new lists : one with a brand spanking new caster. Mr. Anagram took 3rd after a critical feat error with Constance Blaize.

Raise a glass to them.
And, I finally broke my losing streak.

All in all a great day!


Thralls take Five Fingers

Ok, so we do have a scheduled outing - First week in September.  Everyone's to invade Five Fingers and drink it dry.
Today, however, several of us are going to Dragon's Den just on the outskirts for a Steamroller tournament.
wish us luck!

Friday, August 9, 2013

What do you bring to the table?

The literal answer is as important as the concepts.
Its poor sportsmanship to blame your tools - the dice and (yes,even unpainted) models don't count. Tape measures, templates, terrain...all tools. The tools, like the rules, are incidental.

You did bring your experience. All your senses and all the things that make up your day. Hungry cold warm tired excited Angry sad lazy And Your entire work day. Your commute the time it took to get to game The internal pressure to paint And all your troubles at home. That 2 months losing streak. Dice hate you. All of this is what you bring to the table.

The part that sucks most is These things tend To stick to us like fresh gum on hot side walks.
No matter how bad your rolling has been you are not due for a hot streak. That's just not how the math works. Go wash your hands and consider buying casino dice. Yes casino dice are expensive. They're also machined rather than injection-molded dipped in paint and thrown in a polishing tumbler. Its just how they are made. Painted models don't care about playing better...its just making it harder to be that guy when everything's painted Something about similar units having a visual distinctiveness.  30 bane thralls are easy to mix up when they're just assembled.

Winning dramatically more than you lose Is more likely the function of The caliber of your opponents rather than the measure of your skill. Equally important Is that if your opponents are not getting better You're not contributing to their learning.  Good job! You just wasted two peoples time to feed your ego. Over a game.

I'm not going to lie about Winning feeling damn good. I think. I'm starting not to remember what it's like. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm not good at the game in fact it may mean nothing at all beyond I've been playing at my skill level. the only way to find out is to continue to push.

Your game philosophy also comes with you buried in how you play.
I'd love to distill it into competitive/casual were it so simple. On the surface this is a zero sum game: one win, one loss. I wonder if it has to be - sure we meet victory conditions, but the event itself doesn't need to be unpleasant.  This is a game after all.

What should you take away from this?
Every game should be taken on its own. That previous game is gone.  The next game isn't here yet.
If all you bring is your army and your battle plan its harder to sabotage yourself.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Episode 11: The Maxwell Finn Appreciation Society

Sadly, James was unable to make it because he is sick, but we stole his equipment and recorded anyways!

03:05 Topic Conductor strikes again!
03:35 Dealing with Knockdown
04:37 Owen remembers that we need to do Cheers!
20:10 Tangential Learning - Applying things you learned from other games to Warmachine/Hordes
We sort of drift into playing the player also
43:30 Segue into Centerpiece model of your army or What to bring next?
54:00 Last beer down


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Podcast hosting move!

If you have been listening through Podomatic then stop. We have moved. Due to lack of support we have set up an account over at PodBean. This also means that iTunes will soon be updated with correct tags! Know what else.... we now have an APP!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Episode 10 - The Behind the Scenes Episode

Really, this is the Episode 10 us having really good beers and talking. There are no topics. Just sit back, drink, and listen to us ramble.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Freak snowstorm hits Five Fingers!

Five Fingers was hit today by a freak snowstorm bringing the Nyss out of the woodwork!
Elk drawing a beer cart of winter ale slated for the Longest Night apparently got lost, spooked by a rogue laborjack, and left its cargo:
Christmas at Midnight (Midnight Brewery, Rockville VA) !

A belgian style dubbel with clove, cinnamon, and ginger.  It has all the spices of a Christmas dinner with the weight of a medium lager.

Amidst the storm of ales, witbier, and IPA this is a damn welcome change for the seasonal beers.
If you're out in the area, or can get here before 4pm, get on over and get a Growler. Otherwise, you'll have to wait to the first snows.


Hands in the air

This past week has been crazy busy for all the thralls!
Many of us have friends getting married, upheaval at work , and absolutely beautiful weather yesterday that required a cookout!

That said we are indeed behind on a couple posts.  Luckily this is the Internet and its for fun!

So  those photos and plans are expected in the upcoming week. This gives you just a few more hours to go out and enjoy your weekend!   Just keep your eye out for more mayhem!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Episode 9: Its a Banenado!

Sitting in the Alamo again, drinking beers, and babbling.We mostly keep on topic but beer says no. We discuss some ways your dice are evil, Nathan loses a bet, and we throw around why you should choose your caster well.

01:10 The Beers
03:50 Pacific Rim talk
04:50 Topic Guy!
06:32 Luck or Not
13:55 The Gamblers Fallacy
16:00 James is a Gallows Grove
16:40 A Wild Zach appears!
21:10 Cheers! This is why we need Zach around to remind us to cheers....
21:30 List Building 102: Choosing your caster
39:55 Segue into using your feat effectively
1:07:45 We babble so much but last beer is down


Monday, July 15, 2013

No place to play

If you've got nobody to play with I can't help.
I can, however, provide you with a little bit of evidence that even in a tiny apartment you can make space.

With a little bit of effort, very few tools, and some forethought you can have a quite passable table.

I started with a 1/4" x 4' x 4' square panel. Not being much of a carpenter its some cheap veneer to do the job framed by 1"x 3/4"x 4" (A theme methinks!!) wood trim. Apply countersunk 3/4" wood screws liberally.  Its mounted on two sawhorses. Quite literally this two pack.

So, What about terrain?
I chose to go with
A really convenient 4' x 8' game mat. I used to play a lot of 40k, so that was the standard size. 4'x4' is so much easier to play on...
For simplicity's sake all terrain is cut out of felt:
The forests (zoom in on it. really) specify the sort of terrain, and the bonuses they grant
Concealment, etc.  The Grey templates show the armor, and the damage per edge, in case someone wants to trash a building.

and it all folds up nice and neat.
If you look closely I even keep fancy blue felt for water should Warmachine players stop crying "water is unfair!" long enough.

This whole deal folds up into a 4'x4'x8" space that will fit behind a dresser or under a bed.

So it looks like you've got room to play.  What's the next excuse?

Episode 8: Say tough again!

In this episode, we have a ton of guests sitting around with us to discuss some interesting topics. Sure, we bounce around a lot, but damn we sound like we know what we are talking about. Go beer!

01:12 Hi Mom
01:24 Beer introductions
03:18 Cheers
03:38 TOPIC BOY!
04:25 First impressions on the Convergence of Cyriss
18:11 Segue into Target Priority!
27:15 The take up rule for banners
28:40 CARL!
30:00 The Kickstarter for Warmachine: Tactics
31:56 Back to target priorities
34:31 Nathan tries to change the rules by changing the topic. GET EM!
38:38 Nathan pushes the segue again and we let it through. Don't trust to luck. Kinda also about the assassination run
43:41 Going to try.... List building Part 1
49:02 Warmachine movie quotes sidebar
50:13 back to list building
55:00 Back to Kickstarter
1:02:13 Last beer down


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