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


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