Humble Introductions

Greetings and welcome to my blog – thanks for stopping in. . The content of what I will be posting here will be primarily related to table top gaming; i.e. board and miniature games. However I would expect from time to time for it to drift onto topics such as books, movies and video games. The reason for starting the blog is as an exercise to be regularly writing and putting out content. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Playing like a champion

A lot of posts on the blogs tend to look at tactics, essentially tips & tricks on how to win the game. Today I wanted to post about what I believed made a game enjoyable to play, as in player conduct at the table which is conducive to a good play experience for both players.

I posed this question to the Malifools a few weeks ago and a recent post on a Wyrd Place about “expectations on a Tournament Organiser (TO)”. The later was pretty self-entitled; luckily cooler heads (fingers?) prevailed and put forward some good points about attendance of events.

But having never been one to be quiet I thought that I would share some of my own thoughts, so being on the topic of etiquette put on your finest smoking jacket and grab a glass of brandy (or tea) as we discuss etiquette for tournament play.

At events

Set up – Arrive early if possible, we all can get stuck in traffic but try to be at the event but if you aim to get to the event at the start of registration I find this gives plenty of time in case of traffic. It’s the often great if you can offer to set up some tables for the TO. Even if they just then need to tweak the setup this is going to be a great help. If there is spare time is often a great opportunity to catch up with a few people on the scene

Respect the round timings – it can be tempting to play for that one more turn or to ask for an extension but this really isn’t fair on the TO or your opponent. The opponent has expected the game to go to a certain length and may have started to play an end game strategy when the last turn time warning was announced. The TO equally needs to get your result in so that they can get on with doing the draw for the next round.

Take down – offer to do some help in getting boards put away and cars loaded, ideally before the TO does the prize draw. It really helps the poor TO who has already given up a lot of their own time to put on the event and gives them a shorter day after they have dedicated a lot of time making your day awesome.

At the table

Stay positive – We’ve all had that game, your fate deck hates you, somehow your opponent has smuggled in some kind of master race of models with hard counters to your plans, you’re next to the window and the wind keeps blowing your stuff across the venue (all of this has happened to me). But remember to try and stay positive about the game, your opponent still wants to enjoy the game and getting into a sulk isn’t very fair to your opponent. Try to take it with good humour and if your struggling to understand where your losing then speak to your opponent at the end and ask where it went wrong. Most people will be happy to discuss it with you. If you’re having issues with the table/board you’re playing on (such as being on the same table twice or three times) just ask the TO move you and majority if now all will be accommodating.

Explain your crew – After you reveal your crew I believe it is polite to check if the opponent has played against the crew before. Malifaux is a big game and it is not reasonable to expect every opponent to know your crew as well as you know it. Even some of the most experiences tournament attenders I know have not had the chance to play against every master/crew. Make it clear which upgrades are on which models (I’ve had this go both ways once where I surprised my opponent by not making it clear and once where I’ve not used the upgrade as the opponent wasn’t clearly aware of the upgrade). I’m not suggesting you lay out your hand book of tricks but try to give them an idea of the key actions that the model might do (this one hits really hard, this one has a nasty ability, this one has leap etc…). It will cut of any feelings of “what the f*ck did I just see?” from occurring.

Discuss the terrain – I learned this one from Joel Henry, but it is in the rules as well. Make it clear what the mutually agreed the traits and height of the terrain on the table, it will head off any arguments and makes sure that you are playing on the same page. Once I started doing this I have never looked back and I even do it when not playing Malifaux now.

Be clear with what you are doing – I am terrible for this so allow this to be a public apology for the times when it gets to turn 3 and my brain is trying to keep on top of all of the things that are going on I can often fail to take the time to clearly explain what I am doing with my crew. There are a lot of interactions available in Malifaux so it can really benefit people to make it clear what is going on. For example I was once playing James Doxey and one of his Mechanical Spiders moved next to one of my models and in his words “did a little dance”. I thought that he meant pass, at the time it was confusing but I didn’t understand what he meant. Turns out he was interacting with my model for cursed object, which won him the game by 1 point. Equally it’s important to make it clear what actions your model is performing, especially if your opponent has never played against those models before.

Just a few suggestions of how to make your games more fun for yourself and the people that you attend tournaments with. If you’ve got more, drop them in comments or tweet me!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Things moved quickly!

A while since the last post and this one is likely to be a short one. Real life decided to stick its obnoxious nose in the way of my hobbying and an Xbox One has proved to be a little distracting when trying to get on with models (but should you get the chance I highly recommend Shadow of Mordor).

The GT was a rush to get finished and to give you an idea of what it meant for me I painted around 20 miniatures to be ready in time, painting chart below. I’ll try to speak about the GT at a later date, it was a little disastrous for me due to health reasons but it’s good to review why you are losing games to improve in the future.

While I’m not sure I would call the push to get everything painted fun, it was certainly awesome to see how much got done under some pressure, perhaps Old Man Mike’s theory was right (talking of which go check me out on Fools Daily with Joel!).

Also somehow this happened – that’s right best resser.

It won’t last for long, for one Ant is a very strong player and deserves to have this next to his name. But it feels like a momentary and great achievement, certainly something I never expected to achieve.

Also next year I am thinking of moving to another faction and completely dropping out of ranked events due to family commitments. As for faction I am thinking Guild of 10 Thunders but Molly, Kirai and Jack Daw are all calling to me. All bets are off when they get the plastic Hamlin box gets a realise date as well.

Final bit of ‘faux news is that it’s Black Friday so get your order in! I picked up a few old metals (old Hamlin to paint, 10T brothers and the Warpig). I avoided pre-orders as I will pick them up in time and have enough to paint right now and went for a few limited editions (Ms Demeanor, even though the new rules are rubbish and alt Perdita).

2 Kick-starters have delivered, Luchador! and Shadow of Brimstone. I've played the former and have read the rules on the later. I hope to provide a little more on each soon.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Money in miniatures games

The Malifools had a very interesting discussion this week regarding limited pools which led into a discussion about if a player with more money has a greater chance of winning games against a player with less money, due to owning more models. This got me thinking as it was a great topic and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subject. So with absolutely no request for my opinion or thoughts on the matter I'm putting on my size 14's and jumping in, cause hey, that's what the internet if for, 

One of the hosts Mr Ben Sime who I believe has a background in the MtG game strongly felt the player who was able to buy more models would be more successful in the Malifaux game. Now having once played a few CCGs in my time I would agree that normally this is the case.

From a business case there is a natural progression to this, you can see if the most powerful cards are more challenging to obtain then the more booster packs will be sold. It was certainly my experience that those players who could afford more cards had a better chance of being successful. This was known as being “Mr Suitcase”.

However in the Malifaux world the focus of the game seems to be high quality models and rules. The business model which follows that a great looking game with good rules leads to people buying more models/books.

Personally I’m fortunate that I’ve reached a point in my life where if I really want a model then I can go ahead and pick it up without too much worry. It’s fair to say that miniature games are a luxury hobby at this point and the assumption is you that most players have a fair amount of disposable income to be involved in the game most players provided they plan purchases can pick up the models that they need.

Because (with a few notable exceptions) there is a free availability of Wyrd miniatures the cost of the models is less of a factor as opposed to the 2 other key factors which are play group and experience.  Both topics could take a full discussion but in short if you have strong competitive players in your local meta you are likely to develop into a stronger player. Equally if you have a diverse meta where you can play against a range of masters and factions you will be better equipped to deal with these masters when facing them in a competitive environment.

Finally knowing your crew and how to use them (experience) I believe will contribute to a stronger player. Someone who has played 7 games with one master I believe would have a great ablity to defeat someone who has played 7 games with each different master from the same faction. This is because it allows the knowledge of abilities and tactics to become more of a habit rather than constantly needing to remember all of the rules and interactions of the crew that they are using. Allowing them to formulate tactics and strategy while there opponent is still trying to remember the difference between Hard to Wound or Impossible to Wound and which suits he needs to keep in his hand.

Just a bit of my own thoughts, great discussion and if you’ve not checked out the Malifools (which considering you are reading this blog seems unlikely) you really should, they are on a great run of episodes at the moment, event without Spoons. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Been gone a while…

As with a lot of blogs I’m sorry to say that the Wake of Godzilla went silent over the summer months. In short things got very busy for me with a new house and new job so I just didn’t have the time to spend on getting anything out. During the summer I managed to get some tournament games in (Summerfaux and Cow Wars) if I can I would like to put up some notes on these.

Games wise I’ve been playing mostly Malifaux (as always) with a little bit of Deadzone from Mantic which has been fantastic. Board games have almost been all Eldritch Horror whenever I’ve had the time with a little bit of Zombiecide and Firefly the board game. I would recommend all of them if you were looking to pick them up. Doomtown Reloaded has hit the street and I’ve got my 1st game in which was great, can’t wait to get a little more in over time.  Finally I managed to pick up X-Com Enemy Within which is incredible, it really takes what was already a strong games and turns it into an incredible experience. Again, pick this up sooner rather than later, you will not be disappointed.

The GenCon haul included the ‘tach himself Von Schill as well as a lot of models for my upcoming gremlin crew. I now have the Fated Handbook for Through the Breach which I am keen to get into but I am also waiting to try out D&D 5th edition when I have time to get it back to the table.
Malifaux wise I was finding Yan Lo really hard to continue with, for some reason he wasn’t hitting the spot for me, I think in part due to the lack of official arsenal cards was really putting me off. This is out now and there are a few new builds that move away from the traditional Ancestors that I think will be a lot of fun to use in the future.

Also finally discovered Mako’s painting tracker. This thing totally scratches my OCD gaming itch to track things and has made it a really fun pleasure to be building and painting, below is where I am to date. I nearly finished all of my Ressers and then I picked up a few more extras making my % plummet! Curses!

A few cool things around the net for me have been 2 new blogs that I hadn’t seen before:  (this blog got me onto the paint tracker and also has a lot of cool Mantic stuff) (good tips on game head)
This KS if you’ve ever wanted to be EVIL - (interesting response from 2 big strategy heads that I showed it to who were not interested as it was on iPad. The strategy renaissance is here and it is on Apple it seems).

Then finally this little jpeg has been enjoyed on twitter so might as well go up here as well (not my work!).

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Yan Lo – what is he good for? (ToMB – Month 2)

Later than expected I finally got Yan Lo to the table last night for his first run out. My opponent wanted to play at 45SS so I put in a Rotten Belle and dropped an upgrade from my previous list.
The scheme was Reckoning with a very kill based scheme pool. It wasn’t an ideal crew that I had picked (with lots of cheap minions) but that gave me a good opportunity to look at what worked with Yan Lo and what did not.

My initial thoughts on Yan Lo are the following:

A Yan Lo of two halves - The first thing that I noticed is that Yan Lo really comes into his own in a later game as a power house. Before that he can be quiet fragile and will certainly want to be hanging back to build up some Chi. Once he gets going all of his CA actions are 8 which makes him an offensive machine.
All of the healing and none of the healing –in my experience all of the Wave 1 Resser masters where very difficult to kill. Even Nicodem could prove to be a challenge as long as he stayed at the back of the pack. Yan Lo does not have a selfheal like some of the other masters (though he has great healing spell for his minions) and with an initially low DF and WP he will quickly be losing wounds. However with the correct ascendant upgrades and a built up source of Chi he can have some of the best defence in the game.
Dancing all night long – the Lightning Dance is one of the go to attack actions that Yan Lo has, it allow him to isolate an remove an enemy model and place it next to one of your models allowing you to take apart the opponents crew peace by peace.
Ranged, in a Resser crew – while not an exceptional attack its not to be sniffed at in a Resserctionist crew. Less applicable in 10 Thunders but the Resserectionists do not have a lot of ranged attacks across the faction. Yan Lo brings some of this to the faction and once he gets up to CA 8 it will be easy for him to hit most minions. While you won’t be building your strategy around it I think that it is a good tool in the box to have.
Me and all my friends – Yan Lo seems to come across as a support master, not in the same way as the traditional buffing master but rather one that allows you to make your key models very difficult to kill and make the most of their AP with tricks to bring enemy models to them or push them around with the Soul Porter.
Initial thoughts on schemes – at the moment as a Resseructionists I would say that Yan Lo is the “go to” model for Reconing, he can take a small elite crew and move them around and keep them healthy. This is great for VP denial. I think with the right crew  he can also do Turf Way and also would be worth looking at Stake a Claim and Squatters rights.

As to hobby time, I’m sad to say its been sorely lacking. I’m about to move house hence the disruption and the Foldio has arrived so that should allow me to deliver some better pictures as well. I also arranged a game last month but forgot Yan Lo’s rules so ended up having to run Nicodem. This was fine for finally getting the hang of his upgrades and summoning (4 hanged in one game!) but a shame to not get Yan Lo to the table more often.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Wild West Exodus: The Jesse James Archives Honor Among Outlaws

Great freshman effort

This is the 1st book from the author Craig Gallant. A great effort let down by a few structural issues surrounding the book. Mr Gallant sets a tone of a steam punk west with a vivid and engaging writing pen. His style is easy to read and evocative of the era the book is set in (late 19th century America).

However the book is plagued by 2 major problems. The 1st is the fact that he is writing the 1st book in a new IP setting which has been defined by a miniature war-games. This means that the book has a slow start and spends a lot of time what feels like name checking and introducing characters from this setting with little to no impact on the storyline. Additionally it causes a suspension of all dramatic tensions; you know that none of these characters are in peril at any point, so much so that in the final act the protagonist turns from a cold blooded killer to knocking out all of the foes that he fights for a very lose story read. This sadly makes the plot less engaging and breaks the flow of the book.

Secondly is that like so many works of genre fiction now this is part of a trilogy and really takes its time to do anything. After some brief one sided gun fights in the opening chapters it won’t be until the end of the second act that you’ll get some more action. The lead character, Jessie James, doesn’t find any form of redeemable sympathies until right at the end of the book more relaying on you to buy into the fact that he’s a bad ass because we are telling you (rather than showing you) in the book.

However with these knocks against it Craig Gallant sets up a great ending to the book and if I could have started the next book in the series after finishing I would have. Would I read another book by this author – absolutely, no doubt. Would I read another book set in the Wild West Exodus setting, maybe not.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

ToMB – Month 1 – First Steps on the Path - Collecting

I’ve taken my lead from @mike3838  I will be dividing my updates into three broad categories as outlined in his blog - These are:

Collecting – what I have bought this month
Painting/modeling – exactly what it says on the tin
Gameplay – This will be a mix of theoryfaux, battle report and hopefully a tournament report or two

As discussed before I will be starting with Yan Lo. The first stop on the for purchase is the Masters of the Path box. This adds in a great support peace (Chiaki) as well as some sold minions in the Ashigaru.

Now if I was purchasing the crew completely new I would pick up Toshiro and then review what to add in next as I love the sculpt. Like a growing number of Wyrd model when I first looked at the art for him  I was less than impressed but seeing the sculpt won me round. However I don’t currently own him so I will use what I have ready to go in the form of Izamu. It’s a little cheeky as he is already painted but he is a great model that pumps up my crew to a 41 SS crew which is the minimum to play a scrap.

With those purchases made this is what I currently have for a list

Resurrectionists Crew - 41 - Scrap
Yan Lo -- 6 Pool
 +Decaying Aura [2]
 +Reliquary [1]
Soul Porter [3]
Ashigaru [5]
Ashigaru [5]
Ashigaru [5]
Chiaki the Niece [6]
 +Pull of the Grave [1]
Izamu the Armor [10]
 +Unnerving Aura [1]

Purchases - Masters of the Path Box($35) and Izamu - The Armor ($16) total spend $51. Budget carried over to next month: $9.

I’m off to Smog Con this weekend to which looks to be a top few days. I’m signed up with Nicodem for the story encounter (provided I can turn up on time) and the will be in the main Malifaux tournament. Then I hope to have a good mooch and drink some beer as well as get a few demos in a avoid spending to much on new toy soldiers. If I can I will try to meet up with some of the other ToMB for a first game or 2.