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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Butcher3 vs. High Reclaimer: Assassination Attempts Will Always Fail

This weekend a friend and I were able to meet up and get in a game of Warmachine. He has a High Reclaimer list he's been working on, and I have more Butcher3 theory to test out, so we put the armies on the table and tried to learn something!

Join me after the break for a recap of the game and the usual breakdown.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Coin Well Spent: The Value of Tactical Arcanist Corps

Warmachine: Vengeance was released in March, 2014 and it brought some amazing new options to the game. Some have already become staples: Butcher3 and Issyria have shot to the top of charts for their respective factions (with Goreshade3 getting an honorable mention for being very good, if not often played), the Earthbreaker redefined what it means to play Mercs, Retribution got a slew of fantastic models to help make their lists even scarier, Khador got some excellent new options with the IFK, Outriders, and the (yet to manifest in reality) Grolar, and new character Journeyman warcasters opened up interesting options in a lot of factions.

The release that may have the greatest long term impact, however, is one that doesn't come up in a lot of discussions about powerful models. It's also interesting because this release is one that multiple factions can make use of, and all of those factions can gain a lot from including it.

If you've been paying attention to my battle reports over the past several months, this probably won't be very surprising: I think the secret best Vengeance release is the Tactical Arcanist Corps (TAC).

Something no one told me:
The unit leader comes with a helmeted head
option that looks pretty great.
Join me after the break where I go over my experiences with the TAC, what they bring to the armies they can be included with, and why I think they're an extremely compelling choice for many lists. Fair warning: my experience with TAC is wholly based in Khador, and probably colored by that, but the broad principles apply to any faction that can take them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sacral Vault Model Sighted!

Courtesy of the same person who tipped me off to Ruin's picture, here's what looks like the production model for the Sacral Vault:

Absolutely awesome model. I'd be terrified of painting and storing one, but that doesn't really take away from it's awe factor.

Study this form well, because I think we'll be seeing plenty of these. The meta may look very different after March.

Reckoning Preview: The Devil's Shadow Mutineers

A new unit approaches! From this topic on the PP boards. Apologies for the blurriness of the picture; it's not a hi-res image but anything smaller makes it hard to really see the models.

"Wild-eyed sailors tell a tale of the nefarious pirate ship Devil’s Shadow and its mysterious disappearance. Of the ship’s crew, only three souls ever returned, now guided by some unseen evil. This trio disperses as quickly as an ill wind, staying only long enough to form contracts with desperate men. Their goals remain a mystery, and the three otherwise go wherever the gales send their cursed ship."
Fantastic models with a very interesting description. The going theory is that these will be Mercenary models that work with Cryx and Talion, which I could totally see given their description. Hopefully we'll get some more concrete details soon, but this teaser is pretty exciting!

EDIT: This lovely trio is now up on PP's Gallery! Also, name updated based on the official reveal.

A particularly cool feature for this unit is that the 360 view allows you to rotate through each of the models.

Painting Log: Yamaziko, Oiran, and Misaki

After many weeks of toiling and stalling over ninjas and yellow, my initial Misaki crew is complete!

Join me after the break for pictures of the final three models, thoughts about them in and out of game, and what's next for my painting table.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Model for Ruin, Butcher's Character Warjack

A friend of mine just e-mailed me this picture, so apologies for a lack of source (I'm gonna guess a PP twitter somewhere.) Regardless, I wanted to share this majestic beast with anyone interested:

That is one fantastic looking model. Its gonna be a bit of a pain to paint, but worth every minute of it.

EDIT: After doing some research, this was indeed from Will Shick's twitter account, and it's apparently a rapid prototype of Ruin's model. While I wouldn't expect any major changes between this and the final, there will probably be some tweaking of details, and based on Dynamo I think it's a fair bet that this model will end up being at least partly metal (though the plastic does look pretty good.)

Event Recap: 35 Point Tournament at Titan Games and Hobbies

This past weekend was the first event for the MD Brawltimore Tournament Circuit: a 35 point, two list required tournament hosted at Titan Games and Hobbies in Lutherville-Timonium. Due to what I assume is a combination of the lure of the Brawltimore circuit and great advertising, the pre-event registration for this game filled up, making it the most popular event I've attended.

Come the day of, there were around 26 players that showed up for the event (based on what I saw and heard the day of the event) with a great distribution of factions and 'casters being represented. Join me after the break for my recap of how the day went.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Breaking News: Moros, Garryth's Character Warjack Spoilers

Reported from the Retribution Facebook group, by way of this post on the PP forums.

Source: NQ58 (also has some sweet artwork for the new warjack)

SPD: 6
STR: 8
MAT: 7
RAT: 6
DEF: 12
ARM: 16
Field Damage Boxes: 6
Grid Damage Boxes: 20
(Grid layout the same as Griffon)

PC: 6

Gun - RNG: 8, ROF: 1, AOE: - , POW: 12, Magical
  -- Paralysis: Living model hit by this weapon has base DEF reduced to 7 and cannot run or charge. Lasts one round. (same as Krea's gun)

Melee [x2] - POW: 5, P+S: 13
 -- Grevious Wounds: A model hit by this weapon loses Tough, cannot heal or be healed, and cannot transfer damage for one round.

Special Rules:
 - Stealth

 - Duelist: This model gains +2 DEF against melee attack rolls.

 - Affinity [Garryth]: Apparition (During your Control Phase, place this model anywhere completely within 2" of its current location)

 - Field Dependent: While it's Field Generator system is crippled, this model loses the Stealth ability and cannot make attacks with it's gun.

 - Special Issue [Garryth]


Seems like an excellent character light warjack. I hear Paralysis on a boostable gun is pretty okay in a faction with Mage Hunter Strike Force, and automatic Grevious Wounds on melee attacks could allow for easier favorable trades with warbeasts (along with pocket warlock assassinations.)

Get out there Ret players and see what you can do with this guy! I'll be sure to post more Reckoning spoilers as they continue to trickle in.

Happy Birthday, Blog

I launched this blog one year ago today in an effort to alleviate boredom during slow times at work, and to help vent some of the nerd thoughts that sometimes roost in my head.

Looking back over the year, I'm very pleased with how the blog has come along. Truth be told, I wasn't sure when I started out if this effort would even last a year; many a blog has withered and died after a few months of posting. 

So what kept me coming back?

Part of it is the benefit that writing has for me personally. It's very cathartic and rewarding to express ideas here that I might not have been able to anywhere else (and to be able to prattle on as long as I want.) Writing up the tactical articles, model reviews, and battle reports has also helped me grow and mature as a Warmachine player. It's one thing to review a game afterwards and chat about it, but there's a whole different level of insight that you sometimes tap into when you're reporting a game turn by turn.

The other big thing that kept me motivated was seeing that people were reading what I was writing (and presumably enjoying it.) I'm enough of a dork to actually track the traffic this blog gets, and while I won't be putting Penny Arcade to shame anytime soon, I've been very impressed and grateful for how my view totals have grown over the year and eventually stayed consistent. I'm sure my friends and my wife contribute to those totals, but I don't think they do that much (and if you guys do, thanks!)

What really kept me invigorated throughout the year were reader comments. It's fantastic feedback that someone is reading what I'm putting up here, and that I'm doing enough to foster conversation/discussion that they want to respond. Every single comment I've received over the past year has been greatly appreciated, so thanks to all who have done so. And if there are other blogs you read, leave comments there too! I'm sure they'll appreciate them.

Moving into year two, I'm looking to maintain a steady pace in the face of increased work and home responsibilities. Last year was a pretty chill year for me, so I was able to kick out articles kind of willy-nilly. That may not be possible this year, but I'm hoping to maintain a pace of at least two a week (going up Tuesdays and Thursdays) with 3 article weeks being fun bonus weeks (those will post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.)

And I'm sure I'll have a lot to talk about! All of the current generation gaming consoles are rolling into what will probably be their best set of years in terms of releases, there are bound to be new expansion books for Warmachine and Hordes, Malifaux is set for a Wave 3 beta at some point, Killer Instinct Season 2 is going strong (and Season 3 may be coming at year's end,) etc, etc. All of that is in addition to any zany Warmachine list ideas I need to theory out on here, of which I'm sure there will be many.

On top of that, this is the inaugural year for the MD Brawltimore Warmachine Tournament Circuit, and I've decided to make this the year I try to go to events semi-regularly. I'm going to try to average one a month for the whole year - May and November threw me off a bit so I'll be doubling up elsewhere - which is going to translate to plenty of games for me and a semi-monthly stream of tournament reports for your reading pleasure. Will a year of playing Khador at least moderately competitively drive me from the faction like it has so many others? Tune in each month to find out!

In closing:  to anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time, thank you very much for doing so. I'll hopefully be continuing to provide you with fun stuff to read in the coming year. To anyone that found this blog recently, welcome! And stick around. 2015 is shaping up to be one helluva year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Seduced by the Maiden

That title isn't just the name of my newest romance novel; it's also what's happening to my gaming focus right now. Convergence of Cyriss is a faction that hits a lot of the right notes for me, especially after so many years spent playing primarily Khador. After dickering around the topic for most of 2014, I'm looking to make the push into actually playing Convergence in 2015 (though I have some work to do yet).

Join me after the break for my thoughts about Convergence, where I'm currently at with the faction, and where I'm considering taking it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Painting Log: Shang and Torukage

The Misaki crew painting continues, now with a few more models in the "finished" pile. After being distracted by the slew of excellent end-of-year video games I managed to work my way through Shang and all three Torukage.

Join me after the break for pictures and model thoughts.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Weekend Gaming - Butcher3 Jank In Action

As happens every couple of months or so, this past weekend I had some friends over for a few games of Warmachine. I decided this would be my best chance to trial run an alternate Butcher3 list (one of a few list ideas I've been kicking around) and get some back to back games in with it.

Join me after the break for the list I used, a few SR2015 impressions, and abbreviated reports about how well the list fared.