Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overcoming inertia (or how I learned to love going out and dropping the bomb on people!)

I keep saying that I'll post this when I've actually done it. Well, I haven't, not all of it. But I have taken the first steps and started actually reading and playing some refresher games to relearn the new rules.

For those that weren't playing when it first came out, it has actually changed, but just slightly enough to change my ideas and tactics! They've also fixed some broken things (nice of them to admit when something doesn't work). In addition, I've been reading the privateer faction forums learning about all the new and different options available (of which there are many since I first started and many that have changed). I've also asked if would be possible to schedule a game on a Saturday when I'm in the area. But I think it would also be good for me just to see other factions being played since I have limited exposure to some of the Hoardes factions among others.

I have every excuse not to make it out right now (work, work, work, distance, location, crappy players, more work), but that is all they are...excuses. I will get back out there to drop the bomb. I just need make/find the encouragement, the motivation and the energy to do so. Because I would love to play against and see something other then Cryx.

But it was in my research that I realized that it might be better, for now, to focus on my own faction, to figure out how to use what I have to the best of their abilities. To relearn how to charge, trample, headbutt, throw, learning the timing on using a feat, figuring out what I might need for my army to make 2 well rounded 50 point lists, etc., before spending time figuring out my opponents armies and how to be a better loser. I'll admit I hate to lose (who doesn't?), but I can really suck at it, so these refresher games have been a learning experience on many levels. Because I certainly don't want to become one of "those" players!

So, really I haven't learned to love going out yet, but I have learned more about my army, learned how to make an army list, how to play with the new rules, how to become a better player and not to give up just because things aren't going how I planned. I've learned that in order to overcome inertia, you have to start somewhere, even if it's baby steps!

Now, get out there and play like you have a pair because failure is not an option!
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Explore more. Trust the net less.

Groups of humans are arguably the most brilliant and most spectacularly idiotic creatures. We cling tight to chain letters and urban myths in the face of evidenced argument and critical thought.  Still, sometimes we get people to the moon and back safely.

This is the same with net lists. "Ook! Ook! Me heap big smart winperson. Me know aaAAlllll!" 

Sometimes they have good points. Sometimes they can't see past their environment - their Meta. Often they can't see why they work. By way of example 40k (hush! Comparison doesn't see venue borders!)had a fearsome list called "leafblower" that dominated the tournament scene for a season. Opinions vary on the reason Leafblower stopped ruling the roost. In the final assessment people learned how it operated and learned the lesson Warmachine players are forced to learn early : focus on the goal, not your opponent.  This was the same with the eHaley double Stormwall.

The simplest truth of the argument is that there is no "one list" to rule them all. No panacea. Enkidu left the building, and Gilgamesh is SOL.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a bill of goods. Theorymachine regularly collapses under application.

Let's look at what netlists are good for.
The massively parallel processing power of humanity allows us to compare and contrast on a grand scale.  If we see the same tools used repeatedly a correlation exists.  Less used tools may be a victim of overlap of roles as much as anything else. The truth is a bit muddy. 

Today we snitch resources from endgame gaming (dot) net. Look at the lists closely and you will see one common thread:   The Adepticon Masters tournament top ranks did not include anything terribly surprising.

I'd call them straightforward if anything. No list is screaming a design to counter a singular threat. So what made them effective :

Knowledge of the basics and practice practice practice.

Each of the duplicate factions present variations that appear to be indicative of personal taste rather than a "leafblower".  Each piece had a plan, an objective, and complimented or overlapped other functions.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Playing what you like not what is top

We are competitive people. It is in our nature to win. If you don't believe me, think back to sitting at a stop light when a car pulls up next to you. When that light turns green... you are OFF! It is now a race.

But, Warmachine/Hordes is a little different. Sure there are top armies and bottom armies but all in all every faction is competitive. Unlike some companies *cough GW cough* every new book doesn't make the next "top" army.

We come back to one major point: play what you like. Menoth is a strong competition army. It is a toolbox of amazing tricks, but if you hate the minis and the fluff, why play it? You win a one day tournament and the rest of the week you are complaining about how much you hate them. Why play them then?

I love Gatormen. Wrong Eye grabbed my attention and I built an army around him. The look of the army is amazing. I am so happy fielding them.... and they lose 80% of the time for me. I have a Circle army in the works that includes not a single construct because werewolves are cool. While sticks and stones my break your bones, they are the ugliest models I have seen.

So, why play them? They make me happy to play. I am getting better with them and still losing. But, that's what it comes down to really. Fun. Go to work to make money and live. Why play a game like work? Find a faction you love and play them. Your game is suppose to be fun first above all. Play what you love.

.... Except pink Skorne elephants. Nobody loves pink elephants :)

- BigBadGarou
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Obsessively sticking to faction

I admit I'm a bit of a faction snob.
Playing Cryx it doesn't hurt as much not having Eyriss, or Carvolo, or any of a fistful of other mercenaries.  We get so many less than other factions ... and look what it did for Llael.  Oh, yeah, they're a setting not a faction. We do get some few and  they have uses (like filling Goreshade1's tier list) that are a little harder to get in faction. But are they worth all the hubbub?

As a Cryx player the most useful mercenaries are turned in faction by one of pSkarre's tier lists. mercenary Privateer units become in faction allowing a fairly interesting shooting list for Cryx.  But what of the other factions?

Forget Them. Forget them all.

One of the best things about mercenaries is the tools.that are brought to the table. Long time mercenary players will echo "duh!" with the derision of a hornrimmed PBR swilling Indie rock culture vulture. OK, you played mercenaries before it was.... No. Its still not cool. Does that nomad itch? It did when Cygnar dumped it in the scrapyard! Ahem. Where was I? Its the tools they bring. MacNaile and his 3 cannons (shut up and spend the 8 points) add outstanding punch! Devil Dogs (a reason to marshal all by themselves) Steelheads and Boomhowler....
 I could rattle on and on about  specific units but there are pages upon pages of "why X rocks and Y sucks!" 

Think of them like a new warcaster (or warlock...but I'm not biased...) - new tools that will change the way your force performs, teach you more about your force, and ... ok, I caught a few extra losses. But I suck.
Go out and don't be me!



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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Adepticon Ho!

Two of our number have been set free of their cages to roam wild at Adepticon.

Three days of gaming and dabbling in local colour are in the brochure!  Good luck to them!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cold spring Pint!

So its summer, and I'm in a town with three Breweries collecting alcohol tokens with Ladygrue.

Midnight is a small brewery in Rockville VA (just outside Richmond) with an ambitious and skilled Brewer. 
The Bourbon aged Oatmeal stout is outstanding. A medium body with a fine texture to the carbonation. The Bourbon is present making a subtle compliment to the richness provided by the oatmeal.

Today's other offerings are "Not my Job" their southern English brown,  "Rockville Red " their Irish red style, and a kolsch.   If you're within a two hour drive come and visit. The local food trucks are amazing - and the Bourbon stout goes amazingly with Boka's Shrimp and Grits taco. 

If you have the opportunity, go drink a local pint, with good friends, and get a game in!


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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wheels within Wheels - Machinations: Anomaly Cards reviewed

This season's Machinations League has been released.
Last season was lackluster - I drastically underperformed. Bad me.

We're her to talk about the cards however.  Toruk's ragged scales these cards...I'm so very happy these are all FA:U.

Desecrator Cryptkeeper:
 Mortenebra players are somewhere between a joygasm and slack jawed awe.  While I love the idea of Toruk's finest getting a flame AOE (especially over corrosion) the Desecrator is more useful in its normal incarnation due to its normal focus synergy.  The additional movement simply isn't enough to overcome what is a weak melee weapon and a short range AOE. 4" AOE at 9" with a persistent cloud is less effective than the original.  Bushwhack instead of shred would have made this quite desirable.

5th Border Legion Demolisher:
Dhunia loves the motherland this season. "When a living or undead model is boxed by this weapon center a 3"AOE ..." Just what Khador needs: a model that brings its own forest AOE. Charge lanes and LOS just got a new flavor of control. Combined with Hunter this presents some very interesting possibilities at segregating an enemy force.

Winter Repenter:
What did the Protectorate do to deserve this? Stationary is powerful, but making models that hit is stationary with Rime relegates this to a blocking role. I chalk my being so unimpressed up to my limited command of the Protectorate.

Blightgifted Stormclad:
This is what happens when you bribe the developers.
Cryx would kill for reach, a shield, ARM 18, and an 8" POW 14 4"AOE.  at 10 points this will still see a LOT of play. In Cygnar's hands this becomes terrifying - marshalled or not.

Needletail Sphinx:
This is the gun the Sphinx should have had all along.  +1/+2 medium/large bases and an increased ROF...at normal prices.  Expect to see this used as often as possible.

Dozer Rover:
Aggressive and Bulldoze make the Rover an excellent Jack. Free charges and bulldoze are matches made in heaven.

Nightshade Dire Troll:
Adaptation, and 2 focus for Reach (elasticity) on threshold 10 5 fury... and it doesn't *replace* the EBDT.  Expect four weeks of twin EBDT agony. Even without Transmute the Nightshade troll is a contender...and an irritant to anyone who brings along their own shallow water templates. (I'm looking at you, Gatormen!)

Mythwatcher:
The idea is interesting.  Alone the vortex blast is too short ranged to be a real concern and armor 17 with 25 boxes makes it too fragile to be a serious contender amongst so many other solid constructs.  Witch Blight's 5" radius is simply too small to be a concern when forced to compete with things like the Scarsfell Griffon.  It seems that the tools it brings to play make it barely a curiosity.

Cyclops Storm Shaman:
Between an excellent Animus and pretending to be a small group of storm knights I think the only thing I would have preferred is it being a Raider rather than a Shaman. Warjacks beware.

Grundback Stinger: (Stingers gonna trench.)
An artillery piece with Dig In, and (for 1 FOCUS) can't be pushed, knocked down, or made Stationary.  2 points for a fairly solid cheap animus.
If you see a lot of pushing, or clump lose for Retribution to use their Vortex Blast, this could have room made for it.
Could. Or, you could call this an also ran because its FA:U and salvage your self respect.

Rotgut Road Hog:
Poking the Blindwater Congregation soundly in the eye we have another "We want to be just like Cryx" entry in the season.  9 points of Road Hog, Lightning Strike (for a little more Sprint), and an emergency Bile Thrall. That's right: POW 12  SP10 and a Bile Thrall's Purge.  Sure, its fatal, but as a *ATTACK the last poke in the eye of a dying warbeast can be to purge a 6" swath of doom.  Spend the extra point for a Feralgeist so you can get another Purge for spite.

Four weeks of exciting new missions leading up to a whole new mini-faction for Warmachine.  Rumours abound but the Cyriss army looks to be a planned limited force along the lines of the Thornfall Alliance!






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Monday, April 1, 2013

Introductions:


Introducing the founding BeerThralls:

Oldgrue:
BeerThrall Officer Unit Attachment
Vent (*attack) - each reader gains a Grain Of Salt token.  Readers with a Grain of Salt may disregard posts as the ravings of an inebriated madman.

LadyGrue
BeerThrall Kovnik
Ladies First - if this BeerThrall is Inebriated one other BeerThrall in this unit removes this BeerThrall from play and becomes the Designated Driver.  Remove all Alcohol tokens from the Designated Driver before removing the unit from play.

Shane
BeerThrall Trencher Unit Attachment
Attachment [BeerThrall Inebriates]
This attachment can be attached to BeerThrall units regardless of faction. Increase the FA of BeerThrall Trenchers by 1. 

BigbadGarou
BeerThrall Vassal
Ancillary Attack (*attack)
RNG earshot  - target friendly BeerThrall. Immediately place that BeerThrall completely within Bigbadgarou's command radius. This model has no effect on models with the Redhead trait.


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Beer Thralls

Welcome to the home of the Beer Thralls : a team of semicompetitive Warmachine/Hordes players...and amateur drunks...um travelers.

For myself, I have spent months talking up how I wanted to play at a competitive level.
The rest of the team have volun... ^H^H^H^H^H been dragged screaming into this mess.
Much like a racing team  - we may well compete against each other at events but that's no excuse not to use each other to drive our skills to be better.
The goals:
a) prepared to, and confident in our chances at Steamroller and Hardcore tournaments. If we can get to a Masters tournament all the better.
b) win said tournaments - preferably to jam up the top ranks.
c) have a cheap excuse to travel and explore new cities. Yes, Chicago, Indiannapolis, and Seattle don't seem the most interesting cities...but what about Dallas, SanAntonio, and Dover? 
d) find new and interesting places to eat, drink, and make merry.
e)oh, yeah, and there's that hobby thing.  Pretty shiny toys



How are we going to get there?  Well crap...

a) Assemble the minimum requirements for Steamroller/Hardcore/Masters :
2 50 point armies of one faction. Each. Both lists should be able to expand to 75 or reduce to 35 points.
Its only 30 models. Buck up folks.
b) Practice. Practice. Practice.
c) Teach. Not just each other, but participate in regular blog articles.  By being able to articulate our ideas we can share, and demonstrate our understanding of both the game and our factions.
yes, I know there are a lot of blogs out there. This isn't about money, or recognition, but as a learning tool.
d) Lose. its gonna happen. we're gonna lose many games. But then again we're gonna play many games! Its about playing.
e) then there's the beer.  Beer you ask? Yes, Beer. Maybe rum.  Put simply this is a fun thing to do - play games, go find somewhere to sit, talk smack, congratulate/console/chide each other, and talk about how we do next time better.
f) motivate. probably after we recover from the beer.  Its so much easier than self motivation.

Oh, and then there's the silly banners, and goofy gamer shit.

- Oldgrue
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