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! http://beerthralls.podbean.com/mobile/

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


Week Four of the Divorce:

Four Weeks.
Saw my Cryx across the table tuesday.  Those spiked weapons, that high speed, all the clever....

I've got a new faction now. I learn how it works, how it moves, how to make things work.

And boy, do I have to.  We're just not getting along this week. I just bumped into a door. I'm so clumsy.

So the theory, while sound, seems to be more than a little lacking. It probably is me since I so recently caught a merciless beating at the hands of pDoomshaper and his ARM 20 brick.  It would appear that POW 13 has a steep time climbing up over 20 so my damage outputs are on the low side.

I just need apparently to face up against a different force...maybe kittens.
Crippled kittens.


Week 1: Recruited into the Convergence of Cyriss

Dear Journal,

Last week I was contacted by some priests of Cyriss. I was given the opportunity to do some great work and see amazing things. I can't go into much detail, but I have passed the tests and was welcomed into the Convergence. 

At first I was given menial tasks to acclimate me to my new environment. Working alongside Forge Master Syntherion, we assembled a Cipher vector, a galvanizer vector, a mitigator vector, a monitor vector, and an inverter vector. Soon after I was given the task to paint each one. 

I do not say that it is easy to paint such devices. They are very complex with thin pieces and many hidden or small gears. I am almost completed with the task. 

Sunday, an alarm was sounded as a small force of Cryx was spotted near the temple. Forge Master Syntherion commanded me to watch the battle and see how the vectors I had helped assemble faired in battle. 

It looked to be an easy battle. Each vector acting as part of a well oiled clock. Jacks and banes fell to precision movements and precision strikes. Soon the Cyrx army lay in ruins except for their caster known as Asphyxious. A failed charge of the Inverter left an opening for the Cryx caster to throw hellfire at Syntherion. His systems failed but the Cryx war caster was weak and without an army so he fled the field. The Priests are working to move him to a new body. 

I know we shall see more battles. Soon I will be able to lead them also. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The next best thing to being at home relaxing with a cold drink.


Yep. I said it.
While some of us think that the majority of the artillery units available are simply pants I dispute this with a single caveat: A single artillery unit is typically just as poor as one might expect.

Lets look at some of the great reasons to dislike single artillery pieces:
Medium hitting power
Can't aim
Medium to short range
Low model count
Susceptible to AOE
Limited function in faction

Wow. That's more than enough to explain why they're not flying off the shelves at the LGS.  Even the staunchest of fans are hard pressed to find a place for artillery in their faction...and sometimes jealous of what other factions get.  If you have faction jealousy, then you're probably not seeing what your tools can do. Except the Iron Lich Overseer.
No one likes him.

What do they have going for them:
Hard to kill:  Nope, no kidding. Three models, cmd 8, and that stray AOE still only kills 2 (see also p.72 Prime, last paragraph...) and the damned thing pops up 8 inches away. So much for wiping stopping it from firing next turn. Remember that the leader has the artillery piece!  The RAT may drop, but you still have the punch of that gun next turn. 
Persistent threat range:  Light artillery has a persistent area that it threatens. No need to move, no risk of being overextended. Not powerful for highly mobile forces, but very effective for slower forces that need to funnel units into an area.
Accurate: While the Trenchers can reach a distressingly high RAT, an easily reached RAT 7 is solid.  Solos and Warcasters now must be more careful within their threat range or risk being a target of opportunity.

This makes them a pretty niche tool.  The niche: Scenarios.
The Steamroller scenarios almost beg to have these brought to bear. With so many objectives and flags a persistent artillery threat can be terribly valuable.

  • Or, in the case of Trollbloods, hilarious!  POW 14 slams at up to 14 (18 with Snipe or Far Strike!) are like playing pinball. I only wish they could teach a dire troll to carry a thumper! Between this and the Impaler Trollkin can bounce an opponent out of position with relative ease. 
  •  Cryx are the masters of "Don't go near there!" with their Revenant Cannon Crew and Ghost Shot.  
  • Khador understands artilery. Their Mortar Crew places yet another bombard from the safety of 20 inches and the Field Gun at 16.  This means that they threaten half the board at setup. 
  • Cygnar with their Dig In, and the Bieberesque fandom of Max Finn can murder enemy models that have an urge to get anywhere close to an objective.  Should never have sold the Thumper to Trollkin.  Their Artillerist makes up for most of their shortcomings
  • Protectorate's Deliverers...well, darn. The MKI one was freakish, but AOE4 is no slouch.
  • Retribution....those cheating bastards can wreak hell on a target. Armor Piercing? Really?!?
  • Mercenaries get two mentions - the Talion Charter who have few choices but to bring 4 cannons: the Commodore, Dougal MacNaile, and all the deck guns you can muster.  Even a Galleon if you must...and when you do, giggle.  And the Searforge Commission's Artillery who know the distinction of actually being able to hit from behind a wall.
The important questions then turn out to be "but X is better! Especially when I can Y, Z, and..."  WTFBBQ!!!
Sometimes, yes.  We're talking about what artillery can do today.
The main issue is: How do we use it in a game that pays us to be aggressive and mobile?

In Pairs !
I envision a great gnashing of teeth and wailing in lament "Its too expensive! My Points are better elsewhere!!"  Yeah, you were really using that Iron Lich Overseer.  Artillery is for area denial and single units simply do not do the trick.
Think of them as half units of infantry and you have a more healthy perspective.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Episode 7: The Player Episode

In this episode, Nathan is stuck on 95 and the BeerThralls become a happy group of friends without his venom. We focus on more of the player aspect of the game instead of the game itself.

04:02 Cheers
04:47 Topics
05:37 Don't be THAT guy
15:40 How to deal with THAT guy
17:45 Segue into when not to walk up to the table
25:55 Losing with dignity
35:30 How to overcome the blues during game
40:15 Prepping for a tournament
57:57 Last beer down


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 2, A Fresh Coat of Paint can Make the World go Round...

I am one of those picky types that seriously dislikes playing with unpainted models.  While this hasn't always been the case it has been a personal rule for me for the last several years. You have to admit it is pretty easy to get an army painted in a simple scheme, even just 3 colors (skin, armor, cloth/other details) and a wash. Then, once the army is complete go back little by little and add more detail.  That is definitely a good approach to painting large armies that your want to play with or even for just getting a few models on the table quick.

However getting an army base painted and on the table isn't what I am here to discuss today.  Today I want to discuss how easy it can be to give that base painted model a bit of TLC and Fab Five it up to the next level.

Take Kaya here:

She was base painted using a bit more then the basic 3 color method mentioned above and then washed with a GW Sepia wash.  Now if I wanted to I could base her up and she would be good to go on any table top or tournament tray around, but we want to add some more detail to her.  The first step is to give her a bit of highlight.  I start by reapplying the same colors I used to base coat the model before the wash, except this time I only apply the paint to the upper surfaces making sure to leave the recesses that were darkened by the wash dark.  I also picked out some detail on the inside of the cloak that I missed on the base coat layer.

Next we continue with the highlighting.  For the cloak I started buy adding a bit of a mid tone teal color to the coal black color I started with.  For the next layer I added a bit more, painting a smaller area then the time before.  Lastly I used a bit of the pure mid tone teal to line highlight the cloak.  For the red I highlighted with a mid tone red and then added some yellow to the paint for the final highlight.  For the stone I mixed the base warm grey that I used for the stone with some a khaki grey color.  I added a bit more for a second highlight, and then ended with a bit of the pure khaki grey.  For the leather I used a light brown khaki and for the hair I highlighted with a light maze yellow followed by a khaki white.  The flesh tone was highlighted using a mix of the base flesh tone and a light flesh tone.

However if you notice something is missing.  If you look closely you will see that she has some armor plates on her right forearm and shoulder, her knees and upper legs, around the gems on her staff, and on her chest.  I purposely left the armor plates and the gems on either end of her staff for last.  The reason for this is that for my circle stuff, I have been doing the runes and armor plates on the models with a glowing arcane blue edged with silver instead of the traditional green with gold trim.  I have found it easier to paint these parts last.

Here is a pic of the armor plates base coated with an ice blue white color:

Next, I wash all the plates with a wash made by mixing my arcane blue base color with lots of Matte Medium and Water:

Once that is dry, I go in with some bright silver and do some light highlighting, being careful to leave the arcane blue glow from the recesses:

Lastly I paint the gems building up from a deep purple red through a mid and bright red and finally to a yellow orange color.  I finished with a dot of the ice blue white color I used as the base coat for the armor in the deepest recess of the gem to represent a hint of shine coming off the glossy surface.

Finally I added a few glazed to the hair and leather to help add a bit more definition to those areas, painted up the base, cleared the model with matte sealer, and then when the sealer was dry added some tufts of grass.  I also applied some gloss varnish to the gems.

See how easy that was?  With just a bit of work you can easily up the quality of any model in a very short time.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Week Three of the Divorce : Playing the field and raising the bar scene...

So I've started fooling around with Trollbloods for the local Entropy League.
So far its proving to be similar to looking for a date on Craigslist : Spooky, and riddled with failure.

Game 1:
Zerkova                                                             Gunnbjorn
6 Doomreavers w/ UA                                      2 Blitzers
3 Man o war Shocktroopers             VS            6 Scattergunners
Spriggan                                                            2 Thumper Cannon
Wyshnyylr                                                         Fell Caller
Alexia 2

The shortest description of this particular event was:
They do everything right; I do everything wrong.
I was completely overconfident on this list - advancing too far forward and running smack into Zerkova's feat stripping shooty warbeasts of their sluggers (We interpreted this wrong but the impact would have been minimal for the Blitzers - they were apparently far too interested in eating their own Pyg Aces.) and getting my own scattergunners all caught up in their own unbuckled bootstraps.

The 4th also gave me the opportunity to play two of the silliest most awesome missions in the new league:   Critical Mass and No One Survives.

Critical Mass randomises a terrain piece and lights any models within 4" on fire, *and* lays a pow 18 slam on anyone so unfortunate as to be in base contact with it.  This  taught Gunnbjorn a lesson as he was slammed out into the open in front of a few Menite warjacks looking to discuss what the Lawgiver thought about trollkin.

No One Survives has a single trench template in the center of the field - anyone not within it is removed from play at the end of turn six.  Gunnbjorn, even with the help of the Blitzer's animus (Push enemy models within 2" of this model 3" directly away) was not in the trench despite the hardest working Thumper crews in Immoren doing their level best to relocate heavy warjacks.

Am I winning? No. Most definitely not.
Am I having fun? Trollkin have proven to be a riot.  Cryx is all Serious Business


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th

From all the BeerThralls to you: Happy 4th of July. To all our brave service men and women, we raise our glass and salute you. Without you we wouldn't be here babbling.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Episode 6 - LOOK! It's Maxwell Finn!

In this episode of the BeerThralls Podcast, we are sitting around the house drinking a wonderful Lost Rhino "Never mind the Bollekes" (ed: beer must be named correctly or readers can't google it. ) ale and discussing how dreamy Maxwell Finn is.

00:00 Introduction
00:35 Tau day introduction and Nathan is not a Star Wars geek
01:55 Introduction to the beer
02:30 A brief Mac bashing session
03:30 Us and Cheer
03:40 Duck Tacos!
04:20 Shane tries to overstep topic boy
04:50 Duck Taco lists (lists good on paper but fail in execution)
09:10 Vassal conversation (http://www.vassalengine.org/)
10:15 Back to Duck Taco Lists
13:25 We slide, gracefully, into talking about mortars in the game
17:35 Jay commits a party foul
20:05 The funniest Maxwell Finn rant EVER
24:40 Segue into when you should have your stuff painted
31:00 Segue into Machinations: Entropy, painting leagues, and priming in your base color
37:27 Last Beer Down

Support your local game store. Support your local brewery.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 1, New Wolves on the Track

Burning on to the battlefield comes Kromac and friends, signaling a new start for Team Orboros in Entropy, the 3rd leg of the Machinations campaigning season.  Hey guys I'm Jay.  I am new to the Beer Thralls but not to the game (or the drinking).  With the kick off of the Machinations: Entropy league I cast off the warm, safe crutch of Khador and strike out to new territory with Circle Orboros.  If you can't tell already my first primary 'lock is going to be Kromac the Ravenous, though I also have Kaya the Wildborne and Baldur the Stonecleaver to aid Kromac in controlling my small but rowdy horde.

So far I have done some painting, in order to figure out a scheme, and played 2 games.  1 at 25pts with Kaya and the other at 50pts (as part of a 100pt team game) with Kromac.  Both casters preformed well, but I made lots of mistakes and struggled a good deal with the army in both games.  The last time I played Hordes was back in Mark 1, and I was playing Skorne.  So Circle is a whole bag of worms for me.

My first hard lesson was with Kaya, and was a common one Warmachine players make when switching to Hordes.  I spent 2 turns setting up a really great charge on a Juggernaut where my Feral Warpwolf would be able to pickup and throw the warjack deep into a small pond it was skirting as it advanced towards my lines.  Unfortunate what I forgot was that for me to force my beast, the spot that the Feral needed to end up, needed to be in Kaya's control area.  Luckily I caught myself before actually declaring the charge and moving the Feral Warpwolf out of my control area.

The second lesson I learned was that Feral Warpwolves can die quickly when not warped for Armor, especially to Bane Thralls.  I am use to being able to charge into the enemy, do some damage, and still probably have a heavy Khadoran warjack for me to use in my next turn assuming it didn't get outnumber by several powerful enemies.  This is not so for Circle beasts, at least not Warpwolves that have been 16 and 17 armor normally.  The Bane Thralls -2 Arm ability really hurt and my Warpwolf went bye bye pretty quickly.

I also ran into another common problem that new players often have problems with, that you need to understand and fully grasp what all your models do and in this case, which one has which animus.  In my second game I tried to cast the Lightning Strike animus with Ghetorix after he had killed several enemies and I wanted him to sprint away to safety. However I then realized that Lightning Strike was actually the Stalkers animus and as a  resulted Ghetorix was left standing surrounded by Cryx.

And finally I once again was reminded that just because your model has lots of attacks with the potential to do lots of damage, it is better to boost your to hit roll to get some damage in, instead of risking it and not doing any damage at all.  In my second game both the Stalker and the Warpborn unit both proved to be great threats that had my enemy worried until both managed to miss with the majority of their attacks because of their mediocre MAT of 6.  It has also been a while since I tried to use the combined melee attack ability with a non-shield wall unit (shield wall units stay tightly packed together so tend to have lots of models in range) and I did not do a good job of getting all the models where they need to be to participate to best effect.

You live and you learn (in my case you die and you learn) I guess.  More lessons with my new faction and maybe some pics next time.  See you soon.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week Two of the Divorce: the House and Kids...

So now I'm going about splitting up stuff for the House and Kids...
Downsized to a new bag, making room for new and interesting shapes...

So far its about as I expected.
The old habits have to change.  This new faction doesn't like to be touched the same way. there's no subtle caresses - its all axe to face. 100% all go no stop.  And right now she's fickle, but does she have endurance!

I've been practicing lower on points because I don't have the Bushwhackers or Sluggers and proxying still is best for behind closed doors with the curtains drawn. Yeah, I'm still in the closet about it. After a few rounds on Vassal I've learned switching factions and core mechanic is difficult. The learning curve is sharper, but I'm finding my understanding is expanding at a pleasantly surprising rate.  Maybe I can get a victory in next week!

So if you listened to the podcast (What? You can't time travel? Watch for it!)  we went on about the use of artillery. At length. I'm convinced we're (collectively) using it wrong.   The ability to threaten a large segment of the board has to have more impact than the very impressive and mobile Molik Missile.  This is my goal for the next few weeks - I'm going to test drive some units that are arguably less desirable especially because they are misunderstood.

Come watch the fireworks!

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