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
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.
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
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
Friday, 3 October 2014
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:
http://thepaintingmonkey.wordpress.com/ (this blog got me onto the paint tracker and also has a lot of cool Mantic stuff)
http://barneysstable.blogspot.co.uk/ (good tips on game head)
This KS if you’ve ever wanted to be EVIL - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kingdinosaurgames/that-which-sleeps (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
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
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
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 
Soul Porter 
Chiaki the Niece 
+Pull of the Grave 
Izamu the Armor 
+Unnerving Aura 
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.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Friday, 24 January 2014
The event was run with a relaxed atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed every game that I played over the course of the day. They were some of the most challenging but also the friendliest games that I had played since begging to play Malifaux.
I managed to pull out a win and two losses – one going to James (@mythicFOX83) and the dark horse Greg (@gregpiskosz). What was nice about both games is that I lost by 1VP in both and they were very close. With James I didn’t understand some of the VP objectives he was going for and Greg I only have myself to blame with some slow play which denied myself the 4th turn that would have made a big difference.
Rather than try to write up each game I thought it might be better to speak about the crews that I faced and some tips from each of them
Neverbourn- Lilith (Greg)
Greg had a good mix of tarpit models to tie up my crew (Bad JuJu and Waldergiest) and then used the Nepehlim as an objective runners which really suited the scheme pool. These are backed up by Lilith’s movement tricks and the Illuminated as heavy hitters. This is a strong list used by other Neverborne players this weekend.I found it best to concentrate on the tots and young Neverbourn before they grow stronger and focus on the key VP grabbers for the crew.
Arcanists – Ramos (James)
You can see James painted crew on his awesome blog – http://blog.mythicfox.com/
James starts with a small crew of elite M&S (Miners & Steamfiters for those who don’t know). This then turns into an elite crew + lots of spiders that can again tie you in combat and restrict your actions. Still working out a good way to take this crew out but obviously area effect would be great as well and anything that removes scrap counters. Attacking Ramos which was my original play is very hard; he had a lot of defensive abilities to make it tough to take him out unless you have good shooting. All of which seem to be lacking in my current resser minions…
Resurrectionists – Nicodem (Jakab)
A couple of really neat tricks for Jakab’s crew – Mortimor just ‘sspew corpse counters with My Favourite Shovel and Corpse Bloat. He also uses dogs when the Protect Territory scheme is out and runs them forward to drop scheme markers on the 1st turn. As I’ve seen before both Nicodem and Mortimor are however very vulnerable if they become exposed and once they go down the crew goes with them.
Should you ever have the opportunity to attend the masters I would recommend it. Despite the strength of the last day of “Lynch” based crews I thought that all of the factions where still strong. Yes Ramos is great for the Arcanists, but so is McMorning for Ressers or Lynch for 10T, most of the factions feel like they have a strong play style and master that they have access to and its down to player ability to be successful (or lack of from me).
I hope to learn from these mistakes and plan for them at my next event – SmogCon!
Until then it’s back to the painting table – I have Nicodem to get finished before looking at what to start painting for 2014!
Monday, 13 January 2014
My plans for the 1st half of 2014 look like the following:
January 2014 – UK Masters - By some statistical anomaly I’ve ended up entering the UK Masters this year, more by default rather than skill but that never stopped me claiming credit for something. I thought I best rush in and confirm attendance before anyone notices the issue. So the good news for me is that as the bottom ranked players for the competition is that expectations are low, which is fortunate as it should go hand in hand with my results. I’ve been drawn in a pool with people that I’ve never played before which should make for some fun games. I don’t envy my buddy Timmy who seems to have ended up in the pool of death but equally I know I will have some tough games ahead of me. My take away(s) from the weekend would be to gain some more confidence playing tough opponents so that I don’t get so nervous when playing at top tables during tournaments and I will consider the event a “win” if I am able to get anything better than 3 losses.
February 2014 – SmogCon – my initial interest in attending this event was related to catching up with a few old gaming buddies in the south. However at the same time they got into Malifaux they have also got in Warmahordes, which they will be playing. However as I meet more people in the Malifaux tournament scene and through the Vassal leagues this now seems like a great opportunity to catch up with people. I wasn’t a huge fan of the painting requirements when announced (though it doesn’t affect me as most of my Wave 1 Ressers are painted) and the inclusion of Wave 2 was frustrating as I haven’t had much time to play them due to real life commitments and they will literally only be finished a few weeks before the event. However playing devil’s advocate does say that there will be some great looking games which showcase how great Malifaux looks and that some players only play one master many of which are in Wave 2 (The Dreamer and Collette come to mind). Either way it should be good event. I am hoping to have Nicodem ready to play at this event.
March 2014 – Haul of Eggs 2 – It’s nice to return to a local tournament after Clouseau has had a few issues with finding a venue that can accommodate us. No idea what I will be taking to the tournament on the day. It might depend on what I can get painted by the time the event comes around.
2nd Quarter 2014 – Warhammer World - I will probably be going up to Warhammer World for another day of gaming. It looks likely to be 1 day of 40k and 1 day of kill team. I will skip the kill team as I have another mistress called Malifaux who scratches my skirmish itch but I look forward to getting some more of the Necrons painted and back on the table.
Friday, 3 January 2014
Over the past few weeks I’ve finally got back to playing 40k and had to rapidly assemble some of my Necrons for a day of games up at Warhammer World. This was a great excuse to catch up with some of my mates from around the UK who all came for the weekend and sample the finest chicken the Hooters could provide. I really wanted to have some more painting shots done for the Necrons and I hope to put up a blog post following the painting later this year. However it will never replace Malifaux for me.
Santa delivered a few new games to me and I dusted off a couple to play:
1) King of Tokyo: Halloween – this has always been a popular game with our group (guess which monster I play) but with this expansion it really kicked things up a notch. The two new monsters have a great design behind them and the costumes add an excellent mechanic to the game. I have no reservations in recommending this expansion, a must buy.
2) Defenders of the Realm – playing a lot like Pandemic plus with more complexity and a theme that I really like my wife and I enjoyed our first play through, though we did win. I am looking forward to playing again but the variability of the game feels a little limited, I would like to play again to ensure that we have the rules correct and also to play with more players. My worry with the game is the variation of the game on a second play. There is an expansion and a kickstarter from last year which should address this issue but at this moment neither is available at time of writing.
3) Eldritch Horror – another cooperative game, this time set within the Arkham/Lovecraft mythos. If you have played Arkham horror then straight out of the box you will be familiar with this game. It is different enough to have its own feel but close enough that I wouldn’t feel the need to own both games. It has a great theme which comes across well and also plenty of variety straight out to the box. It also shares Arkham’s lots of fiddly rules to remember and on-going effects, which was challenging for the first play through. However I am keen to get it back to the table again in the next few months.
4) Marvel Legendary – when I first played this game I wasn’t particularly won over. I loved the theme having always been a Marvel fan but found that the game left me a little cold. Everyone drawing from the same pool of heroes never made me feel like I was Spiderman or Iron Man and adding a completive point scoring element to a cooperative game made the game less enjoyable for me. However with the first two expansions and the legendary app which randomizes your game set up I found the game greatly improved. I’ve started to really get into it and nearly picked it up when I am in the states next week. However to purchase all of this in the UK you are looking at the £100 mark, while a great game I would struggle to recommend this for any but the diehard fans.
5) A Game of Thrones: The Board Game – Decided to break this classic out again, the rules came back quickly and even with a few new players we managed to get through the game in about 2.5 hours. Having read the books now the game nails the feeling of manoeuvring your forces and vying for control of the continent of Westeros. For my money it’s one of the best dudes on a map game that you can play. If you’re looking for a step up from your risk games then defiantly check this one out.
That’s a quick update/review of board games, next time I hope to talk about what 2014 holds in store for me.