Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Lab Zero Games, creators of the awesome MVC2-style fighting game Skullgirls, are running an Indiegogo campaign for their next game idea: Indivisible.

Indivisible is a different direction for Lab Zero - instead of being another fighting game or something similar, Indivisible is an RPG with action stylings. More accurately: it meshes the RPG style combat and party management of Valkyrie Profile with exploration and ability-based progression from Super Metroid. The result is a RPG with a very active, responsive combat system and surprisingly fun and engaging exploration.

Indivisible has a playable prototype available for free (regardless of whether you have backed the project or not) that will run on Windows and Linux, with a Mac version coming soon. You can find the link to download it at the Indiegogo page, or use this link to access the download page directly.

If you have any interest in the game at all, or even just want something fun to play for a few hours, I highly recommend trying out the prototype. It has a much higher production quality than most alpha/beta materials you've seen elsewhere. Hell, I think its better than some finished games that I've played. It does an excellent job of conveying the gameplay you can expect from the final product, as well as demonstrating how impressive the art and animation is (even at this early stage).

Indivisible represents a very unique project: it is a crowdfunding effort that isn't trying to seduce you with stretch goal bloat or shiny rewards, and unlike a lot of crowdfunded video games they are being extremely transparent and honest about what it really costs for an independent studio to make a game. Their goal may seem ambitious (and in some ways, it is) but it is also a very realistic view of the real cost of bringing your ideas to life in video game form. And, unlike a lot of other crowdfunding efforts, Lab Zero has given us an extremely promising prototype to experience, along with a track record of being able to deliver on their promises.

If you're a fan of RPGs, Valkyrie Profile, Super Metroid, independent game creation, unique art and settings, or awesome action, I highly, highly encourage you to check out this project and consider throwing some money their way. Indivisible is one of the most refreshing, interesting, and exciting video games I have seen in a very, very long time, and it will be a goddamn crying shame if it never sees the light of day.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kingdom Death: Monster - Gameplay Review

I mentioned during my review of the game box contents of Kingdom Death: Monster (KD:M) that I wasn't comfortable making any strong statements about how the game plays until I had actually sat down and experienced it myself.

Thankfully, it didn't take very long to get a chance to play the game. I was able to sit down with a friend of mine recently and take the game for a test spin (each of us controlling 2 survivors). 

The short review is: KD:M plays as good as it looks. Its a very fun, engaging co-operative game that has surprising depth, excellent design, and seems to have plenty of replay value just with the core game set (with plenty of expansions coming as a result of the success of the Kickstarter). The total package of the game and the supplemental materials makes KD:M one of the absolute best products I've encountered in all of my nerd gaming years.

Long review after the break.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kingdom Death: Monster - Boxed Game Review

Let me tell you a bit about Kingdom Death: Monster and why it is worth every penny of the asking price (especially if you can nab it at the pre-order values).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hordes: Domination Spoilers

Late last week, spoilers for the rest of the models in Hordes: Devastation started popping up on the web (mostly via Twitter, initially). For reference, this is the best collection of those spoilers I've found:

I've put together collected write ups of spoilers in the past, but I think that may be a thing of the past. Years ago, book spoilers used to come out a week or two in advance of the book, and (most importantly) they were the only way to reference anything in the book before or after it's release.

Nowadays, between War Room, electronic distribution of anthology books, and a general tightening of when spoilers start to sneak out, there isn't much of a gap between when the spoilers come out and when the rules are openly available to everyone. That makes pre-release spoilers much less valuable than they used to be, though they are certainly very fun to experience in the twilight between when they come out and when the full rules are available.

Word on the street is that Hordes: Devastation is supposed to come out on or around October 7th. Once that happens, we should see the full rules uploaded to War Room (give or take any Haley3 level glitches) and of course anyone really interested in the book will be able to buy it digitally. That leaves a *very* small window in which the spoilers are actually useful.  Which in turn makes it that much less worthwhile to type them all up in the long form I usually use.

So, enjoy the text-as-images spoilers! We all should have access to the full rules for these models soon, and whenever that happens (definitely sometime this month, if not this week) I'll be doing my usual full book review. If these spoilers are accurate this is a relatively light book in terms of releases (4 each for the main factions, more for Minions but they're even more odd this time around) so this review should come together pretty quickly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kingdom Death: Monster - The Early Models

Of all of the Kickstarters I've backed, there are two that I have almost totally positive feelings about.

(Thoughts about Kingdom Death: Monster and pics of early models from the Kickstarter after the break)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Long Time Coming

This is a post about a game that took me way, way too damn long to complete.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mercenary Painting Log: Pan-O Support Pack

After weighing all of my options, then looking at the long list of models I still want to buy, I decided to return to the world of mercenary painting after finishing up Ruin and Zerkova2. The person I've been doing the painting for has an Airadna (Infinity) army lined up for me to work on, but assembly challenges have pushed them back a bit.

In lieu of working on the guerrilla army, I've been given some more PanOceania models to work on: their Engineer, Doctor, and corresponding support bots. Join me after the break for pictures and thoughts about the models.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Harkevich vs. Grim2 - ConVic Test Run

As I slowly continue to get the chance to test out various lists using models from Warmachine: Reckoning, I keep coming back to the idea of Harkevich with two colossals. I've taken Harkevich for a spin with two Victors in the past, and liked it quite a bit.

However, that list has one big problem: it would require buying a second Victor that I would almost certainly never use outside of that list. That is a fairly steep price to pay to drag Harkevich out from the bottom of the barrel (and I'm still not sure how far up the ladder it gets him, but it is a dramatic improvement).

Ever since that game I have been kicking around the idea of trying out Conquest and Victor, instead of two Victors. I already have a Conquest, so if this idea pans out it saves me a lot in both painting time and money. Join me after the break to see how it works out.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Assembly Line: Nomad "Iguana" Squadron TAG

Its been sort of a slow period for me with Warmachine/Hordes recently. Various factors have combined to make WM/H games come along less frequently than they used to, and my Brawltimore attendance has flatlined over the past few months (which may have inadvertently saved me from WM/H burnout, as a silver lining).

As a result, I've been playing a lot more of other game systems which have been languishing on the shelves - I've played more Malifaux and Infinity over the past couple of months than I've probably played all year, and discovered the awesomeness that is Yomi.

The upside to that is that I get to play a lot of games that I haven't touched in awhile, and it is a fantastic refresher for when I get to play Warmachine again. The downside is that it leaves me kind of light on WM/H related stuff to post about, so apologies in advance if that dips here and there over the coming weeks.

I'm still trying to get WM/H games in when I can, and I do want to get back to Brawltimore events, and if PP ever manages to mine up enough Unobtainium to forge the new Khador models (that's why they're taking so long, right?) I'll be a lot more excited about dojo and experimentation with the new stuff. I've never really been a fan of proxies, but it is much worse proxying in models, finding a list that really clicks, and immediately realizing that you have no clue when you'll be able to generally run that list. I now understand why the community ends up so resoundingly "back burner'ing" unreleased models.

All of that is a really long preamble to me talking about a super sweet Infinity model I put together the other day: the Nomads "Iguana" Squadron TAG.

Iguana TAG and Operator
Two big negatives about this model (both of which are subjective):

1) But damn do I not miss assembling large metal models. Privateer Press and Wyrd's shift to plastic (either partially or entirely) for their model line makes even gigantic models like colossals significantly less frustrating and intimidating to assemble. Normal "big" models in those games are cake compared to what they used to entail, as this model reminded me.

2) I was staring at the parts when I opened the box, and my worst fear was realized: the ammo belts for the HMG on both models needs to be bent to align with the gun and ammo case. On one hand, I appreciate this, as a rigid, static belt might not line up depending on how you position the arms. On the other hand, I do not appreciate it as bending it to align was tricky and a little terrifying (I had to bend the smaller belt enough times that I was sure the damn thing was going to break on me.

Those (admittedly nitpicky) negatives aside, this is an absolutely awesome model kit.

Mold lines are minimal, shallow, and considerately placed (i.e. on obvious areas that are relatively easy to clean). It takes awhile to clean everything - the curse of big models - but it wasn't especially irritating to do so, and once I got a feel for where the mold lines "should" be, it went pretty quick.

The model also goes together surprisingly well for a large metal model with some very big pieces (the HMG arm on the TAG had me really worried due to its weight). I have to give credit to the modelers here, as the pieces seem to be engineered in such a way that they have plenty of area for attachment (making it easier to get a solid join) and they are positioned in ways that seem to play nice with gravity (such as the HMG arm).

I also have to give props to something kind of odd, but very welcome: the solid bases for Infinity have thinner plastic on the areas that you are supposed to be able to cut out for pegs/tabs. This is mostly a lost art for PP/Wyrd games since they've transitioned to their newer kits, but anyone familiar with the old warjacks/cavalary/etc should share my dislike for having to bore/cut out holes in those damn bases. The plastic on those parts was the same thickness as the rest of the base which made it quite a chore.

In contrast, it was very easy to punch through the plastic on the Infinity bases with a hobby knife and it made cutting out the peg (for the TAG's foot) and slot (for the Operator's foot) very easy. I really appreciated that aspect of the bases when it came to the Operator: the foot tab on that model is only about 1cm or so wide, so you don't need too big of a slot for it. Cutting a slot to fit a precise size like that with PP/Wyrd's bases was a big pain due to how difficult it was to get through the plastic. Here, with the Infinity bases design, it was as easy as I'd hoped it would be.

I've decided to make this the inaugural post for what I'll be filing under the "Assembly Line" series: posts that go over models I've put together. Hopefully these can be a useful resource for anyone interested in how easy/difficult a model is to assemble, I can share tips for particularly problematic aspects of it, and I can give an amateur review of the overall model kit quality.

This will also come in handy very soon, as I have a lot of models to put together, and that may be where most of my hobbying goes in the near future. So keep an eye out for more Assembly Line posts for WM, Infinity, and Malifaux coming soon!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Zerkova2 vs. Grim2 - Tough It Out

Thanks to a random bonus gaming session, I recently had the chance to put Zerkova2 on the table. Join me after the break for the battle report and thoughts about Khador's newest warcaster.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mini-Batrep: Vlad3 vs. Gunnbjorn (Now With 100% More Assault!)

One of the things I've taken for granted about playing Warmachine regularly is the habits I developed in documenting games for possible battle reports. It doesn't do you much good, for instance, to realize at the end of the game that you haven't been doing turn-by-turn shots (which makes typing everything up significantly easier).

All that is a lead in to what will be a sort-of mini-battle report for a recent game I played with Vlad3. This one is going to be lighter in regards to the blow-by-blow recount, but it still affords a good opportunity to think about Vlad3, his list theory, and what to do with all that.

Breakdown after the break.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 2015 Warmachine and Hordes Errata Thoughts

All of the Warmachine/Hordes (WM/H) world is abuzz with discussion about the most recent errata. And with good reason: this is easily the biggest set of actual rule changes Privateer Press (PP) has made in all of Mk. 2, and it touches some prominent models in significant ways.

If you haven't read the latest errata, the document (with latest version changes highlighted in red) can be found here: WM MKII Rules Errata August 2015.pdf

And if you're interested in the cliff's notes version, check out DarkLegacy's excellent summation post here: August 2015 Errata and You

Join me after the break for thoughts about the changes, how they may affect the game as a whole, and how they affect Khador specifically.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thunderhorse - Vlad3 Thoughts and Theory

There is an affliction I have with Khador. Every three to six months, regardless of what I'm working on or playing, Vlad creeps onto the edges of my thoughts and will not leave.

The best way to exorcise this malady is to get into the dojo and come up with a list or two, then slap it down on the table.  The downside to this is that it throws off anything else I'm working with or on. The upside, however, is that I get to dojo and play Vlad which is always fun.

Vlad3 is the specific incarnation that has been bouncing around my head this time, so join me after the break for thoughts and theory about Khador's resident Horselord.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Infinity - Full Game Impressions

Infinity is a game that keeps bubbling back up to the surface for me. It is enjoying a pretty healthy resurgence across the wargaming world thanks to N3 (their latest revision of the rules) and an absolutely fantastic string of new models. A few people in our gaming group have been pulled back to the game (after initial impressions of it in the previous edition fell flat) and we're in the process of learning the game.

We recently had our first "full" game of Infinity - i.e. the first game outside of the "start up" scenarios in the Operation: Icestorm book using models of our own choosing and the full set of rules - and although it had some rough patches, I overall enjoyed it quite a bit (and a lot moreso than my experiences with N2 Infinity).

More in depth thoughts after the break!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Video Game Round Up

Its been awhile since I've talked about anything video game related. Since that is half of the blog title, I figured it was time to check in and share what I've been playing over the summer, and what I'm looking forward to as the year rolls along.

Join me after the break for sweet, sweet vidja game talk.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Painting Log - Obavnik Kommander Zerkova and Reaver Guard

The nicest part about having a small number of new releases in a cycle is that it is often very easy to stay caught up with everything. I recently finished Ruin <link>, and thanks to a friend picking me up Zerkova2 at Lock & Load, I've also managed to get her painted up (before her release date even). So now I'm caught up on Khador releases least October, it looks like.

Join me after the break for pictures of how the models turned out, my thoughts on this wicked trio of models, and what's next for me on the painting table.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Syntherion - Notes from the Workbench

It struck me kind of funny, but the main faction I've been playing since the release of Warmachine: Reckoning has actually been the faction with zero releases from the book: Convergence of Cyriss. That is due more to timing than anything else; I've been playing a lot of Khador leading up to this point, and I was about due for a break. Plus it has been a very convenient way to get the two new Khador releases I have onto the painting table without disrupting the lists I want to play.

I've messed around with Convergence a little bit in the past, but it was a very clumsy foray into the faction. This time around I was coming into the games with a slightly better understanding of how the army was going to play, and with a (marginally) better sense of how to use the various models.

Join me after the break for a collection of my thoughts and experiences after another run of games with everyone's favorite baroque robots.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mid-2015 Blogging Status Update

This is a housekeeping post. I have a few things I've had going on for awhile that I want to address here, and an announcement that I'm very happy to finally post up.

In no particular order:

What the hell happened to my Brawltimore event attendance?

The short answer is: life.

The longer answer is: as often happens with gaming, a lot of other things can and do come up that force a change of plans. The summer has been a whirl of happenings that have made it a better choice on those weekends to focus on other things.

That also coincided with a dip in my desire to play competitive Warmachine, so it ended up being a well timed break.

I'm starting to ramp back up into the mood for tournaments, so hopefully I'll be able to get into a monthly event cycle again sometime in the next couple of months. It may end up being tricky as the end of the year is stacked with travel and holidays, but I'll do my best to get back into the mix.

Speaking of games, where are the battle reports in general?

The short answer is: life.

Alright, not really.

The actual answer here is a combination of two factors:

1) My gaming group of friends has been somewhat scattered in what games each person has been in the mood to play recently. Combine that with a lot of variance as to who can make it for gaming each week, and some weeks there isn't an opportunity for Warmachine. Which, for the record, has been a really nice break when it's happened.

2) As a palette cleanser/"hey let me get some use out of these damn models", I've been playing more Convergence. I haven't been keeping notes/taking pictures for those games, for a few reasons: I wanted to focus more on playing the faction than doing write-ups (some of the things I've forgotten have been embarrassing enough without additional distractions), at least one of those games was against someone outside of my usual gaming group (which felt weird asking to take pictures and catalog our game), and in general the games I've played have felt so "getting to know the faction" that I didn't think they'd be terribly illuminating.

I do plan on collecting my general thoughts about my experiences with Convergence after these recent games into a post, which should be going up soon.

Have you been seeing other blogs? I've heard rumors.

Anyone keeping an eye on the comments sections of the posts here for the past few weeks may have noticed a post from one Larry Vela a few weeks ago. Turns out, he was trying to get in contact with me to offer me a slot posting Warmachine articles for Bell of Lost Souls. After debating it for a bit, I decided to accept his offer. Anything I can do to increase exposure/discussion for Warmachine, I'm happy to do, and BoLS gets a lot of traffic that may be interested in learning more about my favorite game system.

My entries are set to go up every Tuesday, so keep an eye out for those. Here's a link for all the posts I've had go up so far:

Is that going to affect this blog?

It all depends on how busy things get week-to-week, but right now I'm hedging my bets and saying "probably a little".

With my efforts split, I want to make sure I can maintain putting together at minimum one post for each source a week. That is a possible downgrade on the twice-weekly schedule I have going now for S&D, but it is also the most sustainable. I've had moments in the past where keeping up with writing two posts a week has been difficult (usually when life gets busy) and I can only imagine that would be proportionately more difficult trying to keep up with three posts a week!

The upside is that BoLS uses a format that favors shorter posts, which helps to keep my "thought bible" length posts in check, and thus makes it that much more likely that I'll have time to work on posts for S&D. It also means that there are going to be plenty of topics that I'd rather tackle on here - anything long form, ultra-specific, high level, or not Warmachine related, to name a few possibilities.

My new policy going forward is going to be to have a post go up on BoLS on Tuesdays and a post go up here on Thursdays. If I've managed to write enough to have two S&D posts for a given week, I'll be posting Tuesday/Thursday here as usual.


I wanted to share all that with you, dear readers, so you know whats been going on and what to expect in the near future. I'll still be posting regularly, just in different places, and possibly slightly less regularly here (though I'm going to try to keep two posts a week coming).

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading this blog so far, and many thanks to everyone who has commented on articles in the past. I look forward to providing you guys more content on here and BoLS, and hearing your thoughts on everything!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Painting Log: Ruin

After many months of painting models for someone else, I finally got a chance to sit down and paint something of my own. My time as a mercenary painter served as a fantastic time killer for the next for Khador releases to come out - Ruin and Zerkova2 as a pre-release.

Ruin came out first, so it was the first thing in my queue once I finished up the Pan-O models (not that Ruin wouldn't have been the first model I wanted to paint regardless).

Join me after the break for the finished model, model thoughts, and what's next in the queue.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning - Final Thoughts

Now that we've gone over all the different factions release for Warmachine: Reckoning, lets take a look at the total picture of what the book means for different facets of Warmachine, and the game as a whole.

Join me after the break for the rundown and thoughts.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Mercenaries

Having gone over all of the other factions - Cygnar, Protectorate, Khador, Cryx, and Retribution, we arrive at the final faction in Warmachine: Reckoning. Going by Privateer Press order we have last, but (hopefully) not least: Mercenaries.

Review starts after the break!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Retribution of Scyrah

We're coming up on the finish line for Warmachine: Reckoning releases. With Cygnar, Protectorate, Khador, and Cryx covered, we next turn our attention to Ios, and the nifty new entries for the Retribution.

Review starts after the break!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Cryx

Three down! We've already gone over the Warmachine: Reckoning releases for Cygnar, Protectorate, and Khador, which means that today we'll be going over the new Cryx entries.

Review starts after the break!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Khador

So far we've gone over the Cygnar and Protectorate releases in Warmachine: Reckoning. Next up: the Khador releases.

Review starts after the break!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Protectorate of Menoth

Last time, I went over the new Cygnar models in Warmachine: Reckoning. Next on the list is the Protectorate of Menoth and its new shinies. Some of which are incredibly shiny, as they seem to be on fire.

Review starts after the break!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning Review - Cygnar

Now that everyone can either buy a copy of Warmachine: Reckoning or check out the rules in War Room (give or take Haley3, depending on when they sort out the issue with her entry) I think its a good time to do a review of all the entries in Privateer Press' latest Warmachine anthology.

Similar to when I reviewed the model entries in Hordes: Exigence, I'll be (very roughly) rating each entry on three factors:

Efficacy: How well the model does it's "job." If it's a melee model, is it worth throwing into the fray? If its a shooting model, will it hit the broad side of a barn? If its a warcaster/warlock, is it doing cool things to enable your army (or doing the heavy lifting itself)?

Meta Bending: Will this model inspire new list builds, or refine old list builds? Might this become a new list staple?

Coolness: Is the model idea cool? Does it try to do something interesting with it's design (regardless of if it succeeds or not)?

Also similar to last time, I have chosen a random, arbitrary thing that I find amusing to serve as the "star" proxy for each rating. This time around, each model will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 crazy screaming zombie bird heads (courtesy of Deneghra's new battle engine mount). 

I'll be going through the factions in "PP order" (i.e. as PP lists/prints them everywhere), so lets kick things off after the break with everyone's favorite electric swans!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Victor Analysis and Theorycraft

Some of the biggest new releases for each faction in Warmachine: Reckoning are the new colossals being introduced. Everyone was surprised when they were announced during the TempleCon 2015 Privateer Press keynote presentation; I don't think anyone expected a second set of colossals so relatively soon after the first set (or, possibly, ever). This second set of colossals was made all the more interesting by being seemingly designed to be slightly more support oriented than the original colossals (some more so than others, though none were advertised as flat out weapons platforms like the Stormwall).

Now that the community has had the final rules for all these new colossals in hand (and have so for a couple of weeks now), everyone is trying to decide what lists these new colossals fit into (if any). Moreover, since the new colossals often bring with them different point totals (all but the Revelator are cheaper than their counterparts, with the Revelator being more expensive) and the likelihood that more players will own two colossals (collectors will end up with one of each, while some new colossals may lend themselves to some "double" builds), this new wave of colossals may usher in a time of more aggressive double, possibly even triple, colossal list use.

Regardless of how they'll be used, now is a great time for each faction that received a new colossal to get back into the lab and see what these new models may have done for their list options. I've been pondering the various benefits, drawbacks, and uses for Victor (the new Khador colossal) since its rules were spoiled during Lock & Load, and I have plenty of thoughts to share. Join me in the dojo, after the break.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sorscha2 vs Feora2 - Epic Cylena

The Reckoning proxy playtesting continues! This time, its Victor vs Revelator in a battle to see who is truly shiny and chrome. There were warcasters sitting around watching, but I'm sure they're not nearly as remarkable.

Battle report, post-game thoughts, and model analysis after the break!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Butcher3 With Reckoning Warjacks

One of the more amusing anecdotes that I have heard about Warmachine: Reckoning is that this was supposed to the debut book for Butcher3. He ended up being pushed forward a book in order to get him into the 10th Anniversary box for Warmachine, and Zerkova2 was shuffled back a book to take his original spot.

Aside: if this anecdote is true, it should help to illuminate just how far out PP's development cycle is (something we've always heard about). When you're hoping for what may be in the next book, realize that it is already done, and the devs are like 3 books ahead of us. Oh to have a quick look at what is being tested right now.

Join me after the break for a trip down the rabbit hole, and see how the new Berserker chassis warjacks may bump up Butcher3's (already considerable) game).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Initial Zerkova2 Thoughts

Thanks to a friend at Lock & Load, I am in possession of a shiny new set models, well in advance of their release date: Obavnik Kommander Zerkova and her Reaver Guard. Join me after the break for a quick review of the models, as well as some early thoughts as to what the hell I plan to do with Zerkova2.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mercenary Painting Log Finale: Jeanne d'Arc

After what feels like way too long, I am finally finished painted the Pan-O models I so heartily agreed to paint for a friend, in exchange for Nomad models. Join me after the break for some shots of the final model (Pan-O character Jeanne d'Arc), thoughts on the project as a whole, and what is next on the painting docket.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Harkevich vs Feora2 - Pyroclasm

With all the shiny new Warmachine: Reckoning spoilers in hand, my friends and I have been excited to proxy some of those new things on the table and see how they work out. Two of us got a chance to do just that this past week, and the resulting game was a helluva spectacle.

Join me after the break for lists, the battle report proper, and thoughts about all the new models used.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Early Applications of Khador Warjacks In Warmachine: Reckoning

Now that the full rules are out for all the Warmachine: Reckoning models, its time to get to the best part of any new release cycle: the frenzied theorycrafting! The good news is that some of the Reckoning releases were really exciting and may do a lot to re-invigorate old lists and 'casters. The bad news is that, because this release cycle was composed of one warcaster, one colossal, and three warjacks, there isn't quite as much of a shake up as there would be with a new solo or unit. But there are still a lot of possibilities to explore.

I'm still working on my thoughts on Zerkova2, and they're likely to be...voluminous. So look for those in a separate post (or eight). For now, join me after the break for my first theorymachine thoughts on how to use some of the new Khador warjacks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thoughts on Khador Releases in Warmachine: Reckoning

Now that we know everything in Warmachine: Reckoning, we arrive at the most important part of any release cycle: assigning arbitrary, untested evaluations to the newest batch of models. Bonus points if you can declare your faction the "winner" or "loser" of the book (both cash out for equal levels vacuous nerd cred, so don't worry which side you end up on).

One of the bigger possible mistakes one can make when evaluating new releases is to commit too early to a concrete impression. That gets even worse in the context of internet discussion, where its often seen as more valuable to be first than well reasoned. Add in the heavy influence of excitement/disappointment that comes with seeing rules for new models (or entirely new concepts you'd never have thought of), and it can be surprisingly easy to draw conclusions that don't hold up long term.

With that in mind, I've tried to let me initial impressions cool a bit before forming semi-final opinions on Khador's newest additions (final opinions require playtesting, which I'm itching to do soon). Join me after the break for the breakdown of Khador's new shinies.

Friday, June 5, 2015

It's Really Real

It's been a long time coming, but it looks like the Grolar will be seeing tabletops around the world soon(ish?)

It's way, way bigger than I thought it would be, and it looks fantastic. Can't wait to get one or two of these painted up and in service!

L&L Hordes: Devastation Spoilers

Lock and Load 2015 has been a bounty of spoilers. Not only did we get the full suite of Warmachine: Reckoning models spoiled for us, but we also got some rules for models from the next Hordes release!

Join me after the break for the rules for Epic Saeryn and Rhyas (as a warlock unit), Epic Kromac, and the Croak Raiders.

Consolidated Warmachine: Reckoning Spoilers

It's that time of year again! The floodgates have opened up, and drenched the neckbearded masses with a deluge of sweet, sweet model rule spoilers.

This was the first set of book spoilers that almost exclusively came in the form of straight up pictures from the book, so everything listed is as accurate as can be (only accounting for the fact that I may have mis-typed something). Also, since everything came through in one big deluge, this looks to be everything, all at once.

Join me after the break for all of the details on the unknown models in Warmachine: Reckoning!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Lock & Load 2015: Before the Floodgates

Lock and Load 2015 is nigh. Scheduled to officially begin on June 5th, there is also a day of pre-event stuff that goes on for Press Gangers and Privateer Press staff members, so the event sort-of starts tomorrow. Anyone with an eye on going to L&L is either getting ready to go or has already left to get there, and they have a lot to be excited about. By all accounts, L&L is a pretty awesome event to attend.

For those of us stuck on the sidelines, there is still a lot to be excited about: L&L 2015 promises to be a wondrous pinata of information for previously unknown models. Big conventions are almost always a source of some kind of new info (though whether or not there are actual rules to be had varies,) but L&L 2015 is the first time in a long while where so many things have lined up to be revealed at the same time, which makes it especially exciting.

Both sides of the game - Warmachine and Hordes - have things to expect out of L&L 2015:

 - For Warmachine: The pre-release of Warmachine: Reckoning. The book is going to be officially released on June 17, but I've heard it all-but-confirmed that it will be available at L&L this year. At some point, we'll be getting juicy spoilers for all of the unknowns for that book (and there's still quite a bit we don't know concrete information for yet). That is going to be a dizzying amount of information to process - even though each faction is probably only getting 4-5 new entries each, there are still likely 25-30 things in the book - and that should be enough to keep Warmachine players entertained and engaged for awhile.

 - For Hordes: The release of the "Hordes 10th Anniversary Boxed Set". This set is supposed to be similar to the Warmachine 10th Anniversary Boxed Set released last year, which contained Butcher3 on a big 'ol fancy diorama, along with some certificates and other finery. And, of course, the first look at his rules. The Hordes 10th Anniversary Boxed Set is exciting for the same reason that the Warmachine one was: it's a chance to get an early look at a new warlock (from the upcoming Hordes: Devastation expansion).

What makes the Hordes 10th Anniversary Boxed Set particularly exciting is that it is looking more and more likely that it will give us an early peek at several new warlocks. Teaser images and general discussion about the context of the box have revealed that it will be containing three modelsfrom two different factions; that's a helluva lot more exciting than just having one 'caster (a la Butcher3)! Speculation abounds as to what the contents could be - reports have gone back and forth as to how many warlocks will be in the box, with the most recent consensus being "two?" - but there's no denying that there is a ton of excitement built up over the reveal of what's inside. Whatever warlock(s) are revealed, it should give us a very interesting look at what to expect out of Hordes: Devastation.

Related to that is the fact that we'll probably also be seeing rules for a couple of models from that expansion book at L&L. The Gremlin Swarm and Croak Raiders are new models coming in the next Hordes book, and both of those are scheduled to release in July, which means it's likely that they'll be available for early sale at L&L (I've read it "confirmed" in a few places, but I don't know that there's any master list that is a reliable source as to what will be for sale). So that's another set of models that will give us a sneak peak at what to expect for the next Hordes expansion.

Finally, because it is time for them to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Hordes, and because Hordes: Devastation may not be that far off (it's listed as "Fall 2015", and the release event packages are supposedly being made available in August 2015) I wouldn't be surprised to see another (probably short) teaser/stinger trailer to hype up the next set of Hordes releases a bit more. I'm not sure what else there may be to show - the Gargantuans 2.0 trailer actually showed us quite a bit overall - but if PP can add to the hype, I'm sure they will.

Overall, L&L 2015 seems like its going to be a convention that is just lousy with exciting, interesting spoilers on new models. I'll be posting up spoilers as fast as I can find them, and refining them as the days go on and information gets sorted out. There's going to be a lot of information out there (and I expect the bulk of it to come on June 5th, when the event starts in earnest) but I'll keep up with it as best I can.

In the meantime, feel free to join me as a I sit, twitching, awaiting the wonderful moment when information starts to flow out of the con doors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mercenary Painting Log: Pan-O Teutonic Knight

After many months of delays, setbacks, distractions, and actual painting, I have finally completed my great work: the last of the models promised to be painted as payment for a shiny new Infinity Nomads force is complete!

Join me after the break for a few shots of the finished model and what I intend to do next with my (now more privately motivated) painting time.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ruin's Ruin

As I was working on Ruin, with an eye on posting up a review after I got the model together, a few things came up that threw me off a bit:

1) I managed to catch a bit of a summer flu, which has the lingering effect of making me a bit loopy, and had the more immediate effect of knocking me out for a few days. And,

2) I had some unfortunate issues with the model I received.

The first issue was a surprising, but thankfully easily fixed one - the left leg (a metal piece) snapped at the ankle. This is a kind of break I've run into before; either their was an issue with the molding, or the piece has been stressed, and the metal just kinda gave out. The good news is that it broke in such a way that made it very easy to glue back together (the two pieces fit pretty much perfectly back together, and almost stuck without glue). 

The second issue was also surprising, but unfortunately not so easily fixed. I'm chalking this up to the fever, but for whatever reason I didn't notice until I was almost finished assembling Ruin that I didn't have his right shoulder/arm bit. I was hoping that I could hack together something using pieces from another Khador plastic heavy kit I have (don't ask me why I have a spare heavy kit floating around), but Ruin has apparently been taking plenty of vitamins because it's arms are way, way bigger than any of other plastic kit arms. So, now I'm awaiting a replacement part from PP. The good news is that it's already processing, and I know from past experiences that it shouldn't take too long to get the replacement.

Which leaves my Ruin model in this state:

Not quite finished, but good enough to get on the table if I need 'im.

Despite these setbacks (and recognizing that they're almost totally random happenstance) I still feel confident in saying that Ruin is one of the absolute best model kits I've ever worked with from PP. And this is coming not too long after having assembled my own Transfinite Emergence Projector (a stunningly well made model) so that is well earned praise.

Much of what makes Ruin such a good kit comes down to smart modeling decisions. Many of the pieces are cut and arranged in such a way that they go together very easily and naturally, while also allowing for a lot of flexibility in being able to assemble as much or as little as you want as part of painting. Ruin comes in enough discrete pieces that you can break it down almost as much as you want to prior to painting; or you could just slap the whole thing together and paint it that way (my original plan, possibly revised as I await the arm).

One detail I thought was interesting is that warpwolf pelt is almost totally optional: Ruin has a fully featured shoulder underneath there, so the only thing you'd have to do if you wanted to leave off that particular item is come up with a replacement idea for the missing spike. It's a nice option for anyone that would rather do without that particular grisly trophy, though after years of Circle induced gaming trauma I actually wish I had a second warpwolf to glue on it.

Ruin is roughly evenly split between plastic and metal pieces, and thankfully they are distributed intelligently: the lower body is almost all metal, and the remaining metal parts are used for highly detailed items on the upper body, or weapons. All of the pieces have an excellent level of detail, and everything looks pretty much as I'd expected it to. 

Clean up on the model was about average for a model with this many pieces. The resin pieces took the longest to clean on account of each of them having some tabs that had to be clipped and flash to be trimmed, but thankfully it is much easier/more pleasant to work with than the old PP warjack "plastics" and thus isn't as time consuming. None of the metal pieces had any major incidents of mold lines or flash, though the face-shield-thing did require a good "once around" cleaning that was a little tedious due to the shape of it. Overall though, not at all bad in terms of clean up or assembly.

Bottom line: Ruin is an absolutely fantastic model, and if this is what we can expect of future metal/resin hybrid kits from PP, I'll be very excited to see them continue to come down the pike. This is easily the best produced heavy warnoun kit I've bought from the company, and I've bought more than a few. 

Now I just need a right arm, and I'll be set! Can't wait to actually start painting it. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mercenary Painting Log: Magister Knights

My mercenary painting efforts are, finally, nearing the end. I was recently able to put the finishing touches on the last major group of Pan-O models, a set of Magister Knights. Now just a few odds-and-ends models remain, which I'm hoping to be able to punch out in relatively short order. Join me after the break for a shot of the finished Magister Knights and their associated painting notes.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Summer Break

In the spirit of the season, I'm taking a week off to rest and recharge. I'll have plenty to write about in the coming weeks with Warmachine: Reckoning, so a bit of calm before the storm will help to ensure that I'm not burnt out by the time spoilers start dropping.

Catch you all in a week or so!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Obavnik Kommander Zerkova and Reaver Guards

Privateer Press's most recent front page update gave us all some awesome new models to check out. Some players will be excited because of the specific models, but some of the previews should be exciting for everyone, based on what they generally represent.

Most important to me, as a crusty 'ol Khador player, is the reveal of Zerkova2's full name and painted models:

I love these models. Zerkova in particular is pretty great; her model avoids a lot of the "standard" WM model poses but still manages to convey plenty of character (aided in no small part by her baller coat). All three models look to have great details that I will appreciate at a glance but hate painting, which is usually a sign that someone did something right.

I have a lot more to say about Zerkova2 and the models that joined her on the front page that day, but I'll save those thoughts for after the break.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sorscha2 vs. Madrak2 - Meat Grinder

After lamenting about how May would probably be light on Warmachine practice games, I managed to almost immediately set up a game. Neat, eh? Join me after the break for the inaugural run of my revised Sorscha2 list.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning - What We Know

We are fast approaching my favorite time of year as a wargamer: a new book release! Rarely is the game as exciting or interesting as the week or so before, during, and after a new book release. Speculations run wild, then are confirmed or shot down horribly. Spoilers start to flood out, only to be updated, confirmed, denied, revised, and decried as the apocalypse (either due to power or terribleness), usually all in the same forum thread. And no other time is as rich in creativity and discussion as when all of us average-joes get our first look at new models for our faction(s).

The next big book release for Warmachine/Hordes - Warmachine: Reckoning - is scheduled to arrive on retail store shelves on June 17, 2015 (based on various online retailer pre-order lists). However, there is a big event happening right before that: Privateer Press's annual Lock & Load convention, scheduled to take place June 5-7. Not only is that the biggest Privateer Press event of the year, but it's also an event that commonly gives us some nice pre-releases of upcoming things.

Considering the fact that the retail release of Warmachine: Reckoning is only 10 days away from the end of Lock & Load, I think it's very reasonable to assume that copies of that book will be available for purchase at the convention (this may have been confirmed already; my finger is not on the pulse of the forums at the moment). That means we're at best only a month away from knowing all of the details for the next big Warmachine book; a month and a week or so at worst.

With that in mind, lets go over what we know/suspect will be in the next book for each faction. Lists after the break.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mortal Kombat X - Story and Gameplay

Although I had a lot to say the last time I posted about Mortal Kombat X, I actually left a couple of topics on the chopping block. Specifically: the quality of the story and general gameplay of MKX, how both represent significant strides forward in maturity (relatively speaking) and thoughtfulness on the part of NetherRealm Studios (NRS), and how that bodes well for the franchise as a whole.

As I can't quite get these ideas out of my head, another torrent of words and thoughts awaits after the break. Hopefully it won't be quite so long as last time, but I can't promise anything. Best get a snack to be on the safe side.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Event Recap - 50 Point Steamroller at Bel Air Games

After what feels like forever, I managed to make it to another Brawltimore event this past weekend. It actually hasn't been that long, and I've had one or two others I potentially could have attended, but this one was best for my schedule, so I decided to stick to my guns. Join me after the break for a recap of how the games went, the event itself in brief, and thoughts about my next steps (along with some general Khador SR list theory).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mortal Kombat X - The Importance of Tone

Mortal Kombat X (read as "X", not "ten", even though this is the tenth game in the series) is the latest entry in the long running, (in)famously bloody fighting game franchise. Mortal Kombat (hereafter "MK") is a series that has been wildly inconsistent over the years (and that is a somewhat generous reading of some of those games). Although the last game - 2011's reboot of the franchise simply titled Mortal Kombat, but often referred to as MK9 to avoid confusion with the 1992 original - was very well regarded by series fans and well received in general, there was a very real concern that NetherRealm Studios (the modern development house for the series, hereafter "NRS") may not be able to follow it up successfully.

Those fears were allayed early on, as the preview gameplay footage of MKX showed a game that looked to be making positive strides forward in refining the MK fighting engine, while also adding new elements to the mix. The phrase "adding new elements" is often a cause for great concern with MK games - many times has the series added in new gameplay mechanics only to have them turn out to be shallow, clunky, or otherwise worthless - MKX's changes to the formula seemed to be coming from a more carefully considered design mentality. It also didn't hurt that two of the core ideas - the stamina meter and the variants system - are evolutions of earlier ideas; running from MK3 and (roughly) the fighting styles system used in Deception, Deadly Alliance, and Armageddon.

Skip ahead to April 2015, and now everyone has MKX in their grubby little mitts. The general critical consensus is markedly positive, fans seem to be enjoying it, and the competitive community is starting to really dig into it. By all measures it looks like NRS has done it again, producing a game that is just as good (in some ways, better) than it's previous offering. A significant feat considering the series checkered past; a particularly remarkable feat considering that the previous game was actually pretty damn good.

For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly add my endorsement to the pile. Mortal Kombat X is the best game in the series by a fair margin and, just as importantly, it compares favorably to other current, prominent fighting games. It's a lot of fun to play, it looks fantastic (especially considering how janky and bad the series has looked in the past), and it has a ton of single player content (along with passable-but-still-improving multiplayer). If you're on the fence about MKX and you're at all a fan of the franchise, fighting games, or quality games in general, I heavily encourage you to check it out.

What I find most interesting about MKX is what it represents. Independent of it's success or acceptance (though it seems to be getting a healthy amount of both), MKX embodies several significant changes for the franchise that are remarkable and interesting, particularly in light of the current video game industry. In many ways, MKX represents the right way to take an old franchise and reinvigorate it; something many developers are eager (and sometimes struggling) to do with properties that have fallen from public perception.

I could write a lot of words about MKX - and I might, because this game does a shocking number of things right - but for now I want to focus on one of the major factors that makes MKX work so damn well: it's ability to (finally) establish an effective, consistent tone for the Mortal Kombat universe. Join me after the break for musings on how the series has struggled with tone over the years, how MKX gets it right, and why that is so important.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Butcher3 vs. Mordikaar - Immoren Standoff

Though ever my heart may wander, I will always return to Warmachine. My friend and I were recently able to get in a game that allowed us to practice some tournament lists, and it was a helluva fight. Join me after the break for the game recap and another round of Ruin thoughts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TV Roundup: Winter 2014 - Spring 2015 Edition

It's been awhile since I've done any TV recaps, so I thought it was time to go over some shows I've watched in the past several many months.

Most of the time I experience TV shows while I'm painting. In light of that, I'm adding an additional review criteria: how painting friendly this show is. This metric doesn't have any reflection on the quality of the show; merely how compatible it is with painting/hobbying while you have it on.

The round up starts after the break!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Malifaux Crew Thoughts: Rail Crew

Our group is starting to work Malifaux back into our gaming cycle, which is something I'm excited about. While I have a lot of fun theorycrafting for Warmachine, I find that Malifaux is a game I tend to learn reactively: I need to actually be faced with a scenario/scheme situation with a given Master before I really start to think about crew composition, model applicability relative to the strat/scheme pool, synergy modules, etc.

For anyone looking to get good at Malifaux, take note: that is the worst time to finally be thinking about any of those things.

As I get more games in, I have more things to think about and share, so I'll (hopefully) be posting a bit more about Malifaux as I go through the crews I own. I ended up buying a lot of crews that didn't get played very much (I was one of the foolish Marcus faithful in M1E, though my perseverance was rewarded in spades in M2E), so I have a lot of models that I haven't explored much, if at all.

Last time, I shared my thoughts on Misaki and her crew. Continuing the Ten Thunders theme, I've been getting games in with Mei Feng and her Rail Crew box set (with various accompanying models), so join me after the break for my thoughts about her and her railworking buddies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winter 2014 - Spring 2015 Gaming Round Up

Most of my gaming energy has gone into tabletop games over the past few months - especially with all the Convergence and Wrath of Kings models I've had to put together. I've been taking breaks here and there to play some sweet (and at least one less-sweet) videogames, and I wanted to swing back and give some quick reviews.

Join me after the break for some possible game recommendations. And one entry that will probably be a lot of "damning with faint praise".

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Three Haleys

This image:

Combined with the following product listing (taken from the official PP release schedule):
"Major Prime Victoria Haley—Cygnar Epic Warcaster Unit"
Seems to indicate that Haley3 will be a warcaster unit of three Haleys: past (young scout Haley), present (the one we know and "love"), and future (floating tricked out grandma Haley).

It's impossible to guess at what that means - though I'm sure folks will be doing so right up until we get the rules for her in June - but however it shakes out, that is one of the coolest goddamn things I've seen this company come out with. I'm no big fan of Cygnar or Haley, but I can't deny a fantastic idea when I see it.

For my money, I don't expect this set of Haleys to operate that much differently than a normal warcaster unit. Though they could take this as an opportunity to take another crack at creating a 'caster that operates like the Witch Coven, but with the warcaster unit rules in place to streamline them.

Regardless of how she turns out, Haley3 (at least in concept) is another home run 'caster concept from a book that is brimming over with them (now that we know the new Protectorate 'caster is a gigantic Paladin). Reckoning is in, *ahem*, prime shape to be the best Warmachine book ever.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Painting Log: Mercenary Edition - Order Sergeants

Various model construction projects (Convergence, Wrath of Kings) and some serious video gaming (Bind of Issac is sooooo good) derailed my painting for a bit, but I'm getting back on track. Up next was a set of Order Sergeants as part of my continued painting Infinity for Infinity efforts.

Join me after the break to see how the second set of models came out, as well as a few paint recommendations for particularly problematic colors.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Returning to the Man-O-War Drakun

As I mentioned in the Reckoning cover art discussion, the release of Warmachine: Superiority was a big deal for me (and I'd imagine many Khador players as well). That book brought some very interesting, popular models to the table - Uhlans, back when they had 8 wounds each, the old Trample-Charging Spriggan, and the wonderfully undercosted Man-O-War Demo Corps - but there was one that stood out above the rest. A model so good that it took center stage on the cover, and shaped the Khador meta for the rest of Mk. 1:

Now with more plastic/resin!
The Man-O-War Drakun was an absolute monster of a solo, and it was very, very popular in Mk. 1. The Mk. 2 transition ironed out some of the insanity that was so common with Mk. 1 power solos, but it still left the Drakun with very good rules. I've recently come around to using the big guy again, and I'm starting to remember why I loved having it in lists in the first place.

Join me after the break for thoughts about the Man-O-War Drakun, it's place in the meta, and where it can be useful in your Khador lists.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Butcher3 vs. Grim2 - Ruin's First Outing

Like many other Khador players, I've been itching to proxy Ruin since it's rules were spoiled in NQ #59. It was that drive that pulled me back to Khador after dabbling in Convergence for a bit (terrible timing to try and move away from the reds...) so of course the first game I got was going to use a list with Ruin in it.

Join me after the break as I take Ruin out for it's first proxy game. And, of course, more Butcher3.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Path of Devastation: More from the Spoiler Vault!

More spoilers from the Riven Bonds vault. Two spoilers, point of fact!


Join me after the break for a brief analysis of these spoilers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Directrix vs. Ossrum - All According To Plan?

It's been awhile since I've had a regular 'ol battle report to post up. Most of my games have been either in other systems (which I honestly should be writing up, at least for variety), tournament games (which are unwieldy to recap in full), or games that I just straight-up forgot to capture at all.

To reboot that battle reporting groove, I made sure to take pictures and mentally note down my most recent game: Iron Mother Directrix vs. General Ossrum. Join me after the break for a rundown of the game and my thoughts about Convergence after a whopping four games with the faction (two each with Syntherion and Directrix at this point).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Path of Devastation: Possible Zerkova2 Spoiler

The Path of Devastation: Riven Bonds Vault has coughed up another spoiler. This one is particularly exciting given recent upcoming 'caster reveals:

Join me after the break for a quick rundown of how and why this could be really fun for all the Khador players out there.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ruin: Initial Impressions and Theory

By now, everyone should have had a chance to digest the rules for Ruin, Khador's newest character warjack. It's rules were spoiled in NQ #59 which was available digitally last week (and what fueled this post) and in print this week. And if you didn't read either of those, there's also War Room and the various spoiler threads around.

So now that we have the rules for Ruin in hand, how does it stack up to expectations? Where will it be used/useful? Is it another niche model, a new auto-include, or something in between? Join me after the break for my thoughts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jamie Perkins and Trent Denison Talk Butcher3 Warjack Heavy Lists

The Butcher3 "warjack heavy" list I've tried in the past (and am strongly considering returning now that Ruin's rules have been spoiled) was a list that originally came from two well known Khador players: Jamie Perkins and Trent Denison. Their lists have been floating around various forums for awhile, but now we have an even better resource - Jamie and Trent put together an article (hosted on Muse on Minis) discussing the idea behind this list build, their lists, how they play the list, and how they've each found it to be effective.

The article is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to improve their Butcher3 knowledge (using or fighting against), and is a great example of what can come out of poking at the edges of list design theory:

As of this posting, the article has some formatting issues that make each player's Butcher3 list a little hard to read. For reference, I've cleaned up the lists and posted them below. Make sure to read the article to understand why these guys think these lists are super legit.

Jamie Perkins' Butcher3 List:
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed (*4pts)
   * Juggernaut (7pts)
   * Juggernaut (7pts)
   * Spriggan (10pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Black Dragon Officer & Standard (2pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Koldun Lord (2pts)
Ragman (2pts)
Raluk Moorclaw (2pts)
   * Vanguard (5pts)

Trent Denison's Butcher3 List:
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed (*4pts)
   * Beast-09 (11pts)
   * Juggernaut (7pts)
   * Juggernaut (7pts)
   * War dog (1pts)
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts) (4pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard (2pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Koldun Lord (2pts)
Ogrun Bokur (3pts)
Ragman (2pts)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning - Cover and Sales Blurb Reveal

So, how about the cover of that new Warmachine book?

Didn't see that coming
And the sales blurb:


The rising threat of the Cryxian armies has become too great. Death permeates the war-torn region, and Empress Ayn and King Leto themselves chance incredible danger to meet and coordinate their stand. The Protectorate’s Northern Crusade joins Khador and Cygnar in a final alliance of men against the unending armies of the Dragonfather. As these armies combine to expel the deathless forces of Cryx from the mainland, in tunnels below the battleground a lone Khadoran soldier fights to save one of the Motherland’s greatest legends.

WARMACHINE: Reckoning brings you the next thrilling chapter of the WARMACHINE saga. Fight for survival with:
• New warcasters, including new heroes as well as epic incarnations of some of WARMACHINE’s most feared and revered legends.
• A new generation of colossals to level the opposition.
• An array of new warjacks, including the personal warjacks of several powerful warcasters.
• New solos to bring a greater range of utility to the battlefield.
• New narrative fiction continuing the action of WARMACHINE: Vengeance.
• A painting and modeling guide to help you prepare your forces for battle.
• Theme Force lists for each new warcaster, which allow you to create armies based on specialized forces found in the WARMACHINE world."

Join me after the break for my thoughts about what this cover may portend, and a few quick thoughts about the sales blurb.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Plastic Iron Fang Pikemen and Black Dragons

So, yesterday these wonderful things showed up on the PP website front page:

Link to product page

Link to product page

These new sets are remarkable. Short list as to why:

1) New sculpts! Some of the poses aren't great (both of the leaders are a little wonky, but at least they're distinct) but for the most part I really like the reposing of the models. It also looks like this version of the models will be much easier to fit into B2B; the old metal ones are much less than cooperative sometimes.

2) Both units are included! A really enterprising/crazy hobbyist could probably magnetize the unit to be able to swap between the two options, but I think that's so impractical as to be very rare. What is nice is that this is one stop shopping: you want either variety of IFP + UA? Buy this box and put them together however you like.

3) The UA is included! This is a first for plastic units, which so far have only included WAs, if applicable. Its more value added, and it makes adding a unit of IFP (or another unit) to your collection extremely easy.

4) The cost is extremely compelling! Getting a full 12 model unit for $60 is a great deal to begin with. When you contrast that with how much a full unit of IFP + UA would currently cost you ($85 for the unit + $20 for the UA + $15 for the Black Dragon upgrade kit if you want that as well), it becomes a total steal.

This boxed set is going to remove the final barrier that most players had to buying IFP (a surprising number of Khador players on the boards attest to not buying the unit because it's expensive/finicky/metal), and it will probably facilitate a lot more players doubling/tripling (for the Claws of the Dragon theme force) up as well.

I've been holding out on buying a second unit of IFP for awhile now based on the paranoid certainty of something being announced that would make me regret buying it right now. This isn't quite what I expected (I thought plastic IFP would be far off in the future), but I damn sure won't complain, and I have almost no reason not to buy that second unit now. June can't come fast enough.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Event Recap - 50 Point Steamroller at GAD Con

The Brawltimore events keep on rolling, this time with a surprise 50 point Steamroller at the third annual Games and Dice Convention (GAD Con) held in Aberdeen, MD. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that any Privateer Press events had been run at this event, and this first event garnered a decent turn out (especially since there was another event going on in another part of the state). 16 players showed up, which gave us a perfect four full rounds of Warmachine.

Join me after the break for a run down of how the event went, post-game thoughts, and plans for the future.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Full Rules for Ruin, Butcher's Character Warjack

The (early digital) release of the most recent No Quarter (#59) gave the world it's first look at the rules for Ruin, the newest Khador character warjack. Join me after the break for a quick rundown of Ruin's journey from concept art to reality, the spoiled rules for the model, and my thoughts about it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Product Review - Wrath of Kings Shael Han Models

Sometime near the end of 2014, one of the last of the miniatures based Kickstarters I backed delivered. Each one I'd backed had been delayed, which resulted in me sort of forgetting when each of them was "supposed" to show up. Imagine my surprise when I received a shipping notice for my Wrath of Kings Kickstarter order.

Wrath of Kings was a game I bought into partially for the models, and partially because I have a friend who was very excited about the game. Thankfully, by this point we had already been through the frenzy and initial disappointment of the Relic Knights Kickstarter, so our ambitions were tempered. I was able to settle on a single faction that I thought looked cool, and spend a pretty reasonable amount of money to get (almost) everything in the faction. My friend was a bit more ambitious (I think he ended up with 3 factions), but that's still a far cry from the money we poured into Relic Knights.

I'd been occupied with other hobby projects up until recently, so the box 'o goodies sat for awhile. After finishing my first batch of mercenary painting models, however, I decided it'd be nice to take a break from painting and assemble some stuff. Part of that has been getting my Convergence up and running, and the rest of the time I've spent putting together enough Wrath of Kings models to actually play a game.

Join me after the break for pictures of some of the models I've assembled, thoughts about the models, and some gut reactions about the game as a whole.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Path of Devastation: Riven Bonds Spoiler Chest Contents

The spoiler chest for the Path of Devastation: Riven Bonds league has been opened and it contains...

...some sort of shenanigans. One would presume that these are rules for the gremlins shown in the sizzle reel at the end of the PP SmogCon Hordes presentation, though I haven't seen confirmation (just making it "very likely").

The one thing I really like about this rule is how it appears to herald the return of creative, interesting rules from PP's dev team, instead of the slight variations/combinations of existing rules design approach of early Mk. 2. If all the new models are going to have rules like this, I welcome them with open arms (while probably also cursing them under my breath).

Apparently this is just the first of several/many spoilers that will be revealed as more games get reported, so keep an eye out for more of those spoilers as they are revealed!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Event Recap - 50 Point Steamroller at Bel Air Games

This past weekend, I attended my third event for the Brawltimore circuit - a 50 point, second list optional Steamroller 2015 event held at Bel Air Games in Bel Air, MD. The event had a solid turn out (25ish players), and it ended up being five rounds of excellent games. Join me after the break for a rundown of the event, post event thoughts, and where to go from here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Painting Log: Mercenary Edition - Pan-O Starter

After hitting a decent stopping point with Malifaux, my original painting plan was to move on to painting Convergence. However, a friend made me an offer that I decided to indulge him on: paint half of the new Operation: Icestorm starter set (the Pan-O models) in exchange for the other half (the Nomad models). As I'm interested in starting Infinity, and even more interesting in doing it while spending as little money as possible, I decided to take him up on the offer.

Join me after the break for pictures of how the models turned out, my thoughts on the models, and promises of more mercenary work.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ruin Painted Model Picture

A quick addendum to the Ruin rule post: we now have a picture of the painted model!

That is a pretty damn good looking warjack.

Initial Convergence Impressions

I've been working on getting a Convergence army up and running for awhile now. That project has been side tracked a few times (especially the painting aspect of it) but I have managed to put together enough models to run a 50 point Syntherion list. I recently had the chance to put those models on the table (well, most of them, but more on that later) and actually play a game, which was very enlightening.

Join me after the break for a quick rundown of how the game went, along with my first impressions playing Convergence.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ruin Rule Rumor (w)Rapup

Alliteration, ho!

As time passes, more and more rumors and speculation arise regarding Ruin, the newest Khador character warjack. Join me after the break for a quick recap of what we know, what we think we know, and when we'll know what we know for sure.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SmogCon - PP Presenation Recap and Thoughts

As hinted at the end of the recent TempleCon keynote presentation, PP gave a presentation at SmogCon that was meant to parallel the...huge announcements (sorry) they made during their previous presentation. This presentation was supposed to be Hordes oriented, and since the last presentation announced a second set of colossals for Warmachine, everyone was expecting this presentation to reveal a second set of gargantuans for Hordes.

Turns out, everyone was right! Watch the reveal here:

Privateer Press SmogCon Presentation

Join me after the break for a quick recap of what was revealed, and my thoughts about what each new gargantuan might have in store, along with some other little tidbits PP snuck in at the end of the presentation.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Infinity N3

Like most gamers, I rotate between a number of different games. Part of the reason for that is the desire to keep things fresh, and part of that is the lure of sexy new models. I've gone on record of saying that I'll try any miniatures game once, and as a result I've tried a number of different games over the years. Some - like Warmachine and Malifaux - have proven to be games that are worth sticking with and devoting lots of time and energy to. Others have been fun, but not necessarily worth a lot of repeat attention.

One game that straddled the line for me was Infinity, the sci-fi skirmish game from Corbus Belli. Infinity is a game that has grown in popularity over the past several years, and it is generally well regarded by those who play it a lot. A few players in our group became interested in it, so I played a few games to see how I liked it.

Join me after the break for my thoughts about the previous edition of Infinity, and how that compares to my experiences with N3.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Butcher3 vs. Rasheth - Too Many Titans

A friend of mine and I managed to meet up for a practice game last week. He was looking to try out one of his Skorne lists for an upcoming tournament, and I'm trying to get more practice with Butcher3 (and more practice against Skorne in general).

Join me after the break for the break for the tale of a titan herd, the man who loved it, and the man who hated it (and everything else.)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Khador's New Colossal - Victor

Behold, the newest colossal addition to Khador's arsenal: Victor.

I've already gone over my thoughts on the TempleCon presentation in general, so without further ado, lets dive right into talking about Victor!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TempleCon - PP Panel Recap and Thoughts

There are many milestones in the yearly cycle of Warmachine and Hordes. Most of them are marked by big conventions - Lock & Load, GenCon, Warmachine Weekend are some of the most prolific and more come on the scene every year - but some are also marked by time. We're heading out of one of the most difficult periods to be a fan of WM/H: the Winter Doldrums Season.

Join me after the break for a little more musing about Winter Doldrums Season, TempleCon's annual relief of that phenomenon, and a quick recap of the panel's contents.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Recent Ten Thunders Model Experiences

Our group has taken to playing Malifaux again. Between the highly competitive nature of Warmachine/Hordes (which makes it a poor choice for unwinding during the week) and the recent kick off of the Wave 3 beta it's been a pretty great time for us to dust off our card decks and get back to tempting Fate.

Malifaux is a game I sort of stumbled into, and I never really "picked" a faction per se. I started off playing Lilith because she seemed neat (turned out: she was a complete monster in M1E) then eventually found my own Mailfaux Harkevich with M1E Marcus. Throughout all of those games, I never really set myself on a Faction, just a set of models that I liked.

Moving in M2E, I wanted to focus more on Factions than individual Masters. I've grown my Arcanist, Neverborn, and Ten Thunders collections up to the point where I have a few Masters for each of those factions, and a decent distribution of models for them to work with (though I'm still working on growing them as the M2E releases trickle out.) Of the three, Ten Thunders is the faction I'm most interested in focusing on, so I've been trying to play them more and more often.

It's been very fun - Ten Thunders is an extremely diverse faction, while still possessing some solid themes - and I wanted to share some of the thoughts and impressions I have from the models I've been using. Musings begin after the break.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bradigus - First Encounter Thoughts

The newest Circle Orboros warlock, Bradigus Thorle the Runecarver, has made quite an impact on the metagame of Warmachine/Hordes in a short time.

He got his Synergy count up to +6, then beat the meta to death.
Bradigus' initial reveal (i.e. full model rules spoiled) was met with a resounding shrug. His spell list and feat are pretty interesting, but his restriction on only being able to run Wolds left many players that tried him out feeling unimpressed (probably not aided at all by some of the top-flight warlocks Circle already possesses.) Players were more focused on the other warlocks in the book (especially powerhouses like Xerxis2) and Bradigus was sort of swept under the rug.

Then the actual Hordes: Exigence book was released, which contained the theme lists for all the warlocks contained within, and the community exploded.

Players cited different reasons as the weeks went on, but the reaction was consistent: Wold War (Bradigus' excellently named theme list) fixed pretty much all the problems that he had on his own, and rocketed him up from "meh" tier to possibly the best warlock in Circle.

After experienced Circle players worked more and more with his theme list, the evaluation of Bradgius and his theme list shifted (har): when played well, Bradigus is supposedly the most powerful Circle warlock by a country mile, and he's absolutely in the discussion for "most powerful 'caster/'lock". 

Anyone remotely familiar with WM/H's competitive scene should be familiar with Bradigus' recent rise to prominence (and infamy). It's all anyone talked about on podcasts for probably a solid month, and forum threads about about Bradigus' power, "how can our faction handle him", "should he be nerfed", etc. 

I'm not interested in rehashing those discussions or debates; the act of discussing Bradigus almost has a metagame built around itself at this point. What I am interested in is sharing my (extremely limited) experience playing against Bradigus and his theme list. Like many players, I've heard and read a lot about Bradgius and his theme force prior to facing it, so I wanted to share how those expectations compared to actually seeing the list in practice.

Join me after the break for a quick rundown of my thoughts after fighting against Wold War.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Continuing Butcher3 Theory

As part of my recent competitive efforts I've been trying to improve my game with Butcher3. While the rest of the world was Energizing and Impending, I was screwing around with Harkevich and similarly janky lists, so I feel like I'm a bit behind the curve. I'm sort of playing catch up with the meta while trying to learn how to use Butcher3 effectively and it's proving to be an interesting challenge.

On top of all that, I'm having to deal with fighting against many of my natural instincts to effectively use a 'caster like Butcher3. I'm naturally a very cautious and conservative player; ill suited for aggressive or assassination oriented 'casters (or at least ones that want to be as aggressive as Butcher3 wants to be.)

An enigma wrapped in a riddle, swathed in mystery.
Or blood. Probably blood.
In order to try and get a better handle on Butcher3, I'm collecting my thoughts on him so far, what I feel is going badly (and well, where applicable,) some random list ideas, and what I can do to improve with him in the future.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Event Recap - 50 Point Steamroller at Crit Hit Games

This past weekend saw the second of the Brawltimore events for January (and the year) - a 50 point, second list optional Steamroller 2015 event held at Crit Hit Games in Abingdon, MD. The event had a solid turn out (around 16 based on my memory), and it ended up being 4 rounds of excellent games. Join me after the break for a rundown of the event, post game thoughts, and things to change for next time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Malifaux Avatar Beta Begins Again

Malifaux has been through a number of beta waves as part of it's M2E edition revision. Wave 1 and Wave 2 combined to give us rules for almost all of the rules in the game, along with several awesome new models (including some new Masters!) At the conclusion of Wave 2, only one set of models remained: the Avatars.

Avatars were a concept that was introduced towards the end of the first edition of Malifaux. Mechanically, they were a way to give more depth to your Masters by giving them a second form they could assume during the game if they fulfilled certain requirements. Practically, the Avatars were a form of in-edition balancing. It was a mechanic that allowed Wyrd to give a power boost to less powerful Masters, and give powerful Masters either a "fun" alternative, or another way to play. Like a lot of things in the first edition of Malifaux, it was a very mixed bag of rules.

The third, and final, wave of the M2E beta cycled focused on the Avatars and a few new upgrades for each faction. However, this beta wave ended up being put on pause; many players were feeling burnt out on playtesting after two beta cycles, and the Avatars presented a number of significant challenges that were going to take a lot of time and effort to get right. The devs (in my opinion wisely) opted to put the Avatars on pause, finish playtesting the upgrades, and then take another crack at the Avatars early in 2015.

Well, here we are in early 2015, and the Book 3 Beta is officially live! Here's the link to the beta forums, where you can find the rules, leave feedback, and read up on what others think about the models:

This beta wave has a very big surprise though, that I wasn't expecting. Join me after the break for a discussion of that surprise and my initial impressions of the new models for each of the factions I play.