Gaming

The Map Campaign Experiment

After Privateer Press announced their internal Warmachine and Hordes map campaign on 8/21/2015 I became infatuated with the idea of having one locally. But I had no idea what was involved in a map campaign. Most of the local war gaming experts either couldn’t explain it to me or explained in a way that made it sound very exclusive to players with tons of models and lots of experience.

After reading a few more articles of privateer press’ campaign I buckled down and started figuring out my own version of what a Warmahordes map campaign might look like. Using the clues Privateer Press gave us and whatever discussions I could pull from the meta began the creation of the rules document. Weeks of writing, two playtests, and probably too long over thinking it; I am at the point where I feel like I can run the first local campaign.

My focus while designing the rules was simple:

  1. The campaign should be accessible to any player that can create two 50 point character-restricted Steamroller lists.
  2. The options available for the campaign map should be tactical and meaningful to the outcome of the campaign.
  3. The rules should promote interesting asymmetrical battles

I may not have met all these guidelines perfectly and I feel there are some places that could be improved. I hope to discover any problem issues during the first campaign and then polish the rule set up before the second campaign.

One issue that we “fixed” before the first play test was Hordes players lack of warlock starting off. Warmachine players have access to jack marshals but Hordes players don’t have an equivalent. Lesser warlocks work but are very limited. I felt Hordes players would be left behind without something to help early on. The answer was tamed warbeasts.

Tamed Warbeast

A Tamed Warbeast can activate normally but cannot be part of a banner that includes a battlegroup. If a banner with a battlegroup adds a warbeast to play, the warbeast must be added to a valid battlegroup. If unable to add the warbeast to a battlegroup, the warbeast enters play wild. If the banner has no battlegroups, the warbeast enters play Tamed. A Tamed warbeast can be forced by models that have the ability to force them.

I made an interesting discovery while working on this rule. Models with the ability Beast Master can force friendly Faction warbeasts. Currently there are only four models that have Beast Master (sorry, Trollbloods) so the mix of Beast Master and Tamed Warbeast actually gives you the ability to basically fully functional warbeasts from the beginning. I like it as a fix for the problem without adding too many changes to Warmachine/Hordes basic rules.

If you’d like to check out the rules I’ll be using for round one, you check them out here. Map Campaign Rules

Gaming, Theory

An Argument for Playing Unpainted

A lot of my Cygnar army is currently unpainted and recently I came to the conclusion that may be okay. Not to say I will never paint my whole army only that I’m not in hurry to paint freshly constructed models. I can already hear the wave of “play it painted” advocates but hear me out.

I’m relatively new to miniature war games. I’ve only been playing Warmachine for the past three years and I’ve never played any other miniature war game before starting Warmachine. In the past, the only miniatures I would paint were the handful of player characters for role-playing games. During that time, the most heart breaking thing to happen to any mini was to have a fully paint, sealed, and based mini fall apart during play. The wizard’s staff hand pops off. The warrior’s shield falls to the table. The cleric would drop their holy symbol. Gluing the pieces back never fully hid the scars of the damage. These kinds of structural failures help to motivate me to learn about pinning and other useful construction techniques.

When I took the leap from RPGs to war gaming there was a push from more established players to get my army to fully painted as quickly as possibly. I enjoy painting models but I’m not a great painter and not a very quick one either. And aside from my painting issues, I was still learning the mechanics and deciding on which units I enjoyed running. I didn’t want to sink what little bit of hobby time I have into painting models I didn’t want to play. Also a part of me knew, “these models are going to be touched a lot and will fall apart if I’m not careful.” I wanted that eventuality to happen while they were still unpainted. At almost every tournament and convention I’ve attend there has been an instance of someone’s models falling apart during events. The most heart breaking moment is a tray with two fully painted lists crashing to the ground from elbow bumps. The more common are just arms falls off while moving a model. When those models are painted I feel my heart break just a little bit for the owner.

Three years later more than half of my Cygnar models are unpainted, bare metal even. While experimenting with new units I’ll construct them with hopefully enough glue, pins, and green stuff that they don’t fall apart just as I charge an enemy caster. After a few rounds of play testing and I feel comfortable they won’t fall part without extreme conditions, they will get put in the long line to be painted.

 

Gaming

Building a Game Master’s Notebook: The Binding!

Over the past sixteen years of being a game master, I’ve lost more material on my campaigns than I’ve been able to save. Charts, maps, NPC characters, and plots all lost to the void called time. One piece of advice I’ve heard over and over again is to build a game master’s notebook. A repository for all your devious plans and also a resource to call upon when you’ve hit a creative block.

I’m going to be building a new game master notebook from scratch for my Dungeon and Dragons 5th edition campaign.

Step One: pick a notebook
This decision seems to be really simple; just go grab any old three ring binder and start filling it with paper. That is exactly what I did when I built my very first GM notebook in 2000. Later, I moved digitally with piles of word documents saved on a flash drive. Now I have all my files for every game saved on cloud storage site. I’ve known other game master’s with GM notebooks to use dairies, sketchbooks, composition notebooks, computer problems, or phone apps. The options are endless and some work better for a particular game masters than for others.

All that being said I’m picking up a three ring binder. Going with the classic. Why? Its easy to transport, easy to organize, and the digital options I have been using are too cumbersome. With a bit of nostalgia thrown in there.

Step Two: getting organize
At this point add anything you’ll need to run a game: note paper, reference charts, maps, etc. These should be all the things you want on hand quickly during a game. Player using a custom class? Add it. Favorite random encounter table? Add it. Current adventure outline? Add it. Try not to add anything that you might need only things you will need.

I added blank lined paper, gird paper, and a few dividers to make notes and organize them into categories (NPC, locations, items). Then I added all my custom stuff for my current campaign. My reference sheet for the house rules. A list of weapons, armor, equipment, and services with average prices. A list of common monsters and generic enemies with stats. The map of the campaign area and, finally, a quick reference sheet for each PC’s stats. That covers most of the stuff I’d need to run the campaign.

Step Three: covering your weaknesses
No one is a prefect game master. Everyone has got something they don’t handle well during a game session. My biggest weakness as a game master is coming up with names on the spot. I really suck at it and all the Jeffery NPCs in my older campaigns will attest to that. To cover for my inability to improvise names, during my planning for a session, I make up names for all major and minor non-player characters the players might talk to and all locations that the players might go. I still keep a list of random names appropriate to the campaign in my notebook just in case my players talk to a random shopkeeper, go in a direction I wasn’t expecting, or – more likely – I got lazy with my planning.

It isn’t necessary to do try and cover your bases into your notebook but it isn’t bad idea to think about what you have a hard time doing as game master. If adding something (chart or reference) will help alleviate the problem then I recommend adding it to the notebook.

Step Four: start using the notebook during sessions
If you have never run with a game master’s notebook before, this might be the hardest part. Figuring out how it fits into your setup and game session routine. Even just remembering to use the notebook when it would be helpful. Heck you might find that it is sometimes hinders more than it helps in the beginning. After a few sessions you’ll get into a groove of referencing the notebook or taking your notes.

For me the notebook is front and center on the table. The screen wraps around the binder. Pens, pencils, and dice scattered between the screen and the binders edge. I take notes on a blank sheet per session and review my campaign outline. Comfortably flipping through monster and NPC stats. Checking maps.

Step Five: maintenance and upkeep
After a story arc or a short campaign I try to take time and review what has been added to the notebook. I clean out old notes. Check to see if a chart, table, NPC sheet, or map needs to be updated or if it is even necessary anymore. I do maintenance so when I sit down at the head of the table next time I don’t get confused with all the notes I made in the corner of sheets.

With my notebook completed, I’m ready to run my games and deal with most things the players throw at me.

Do you use a different kind of note taking strategy? How do you use it during and in between sessions?

Gaming, Review

The Witness by Thekla Inc.

I’ve been playing The Witness. A first person puzzle game along similar lines of The Talos Principle. The beautifully stylized island is colorful and engaging. The puzzles, although similar, are challenging and require experimentation and discovery to complete. Thekla use of space, angle, color, and lighting to great effect to create an atmosphere that feels expansive and familiar but still mysterious and magical. The Witness is another great step the in genre of first person puzzle games.

I recommend checking out The Witness to anyone interested in puzzles and environmental design.

Fiction, Gaming, Theory

Building a Campaign as a Group

When running a new campaign I like to try something different. A system I’ve never tried. A new character building method. A weird magical system. An interesting genre mix mash. Just something new to keep the experience different so I learn what I enjoy and what players enjoy. This time around I started the campaign off with a group world building session.

The premise starts with all the group members offering ideas and themes for the campaign. We collectively pick our favorites. Then we all work together to flesh out those ideas to make a campaign world and the major themes.

I got my new group together and explained the idea. We used note cards to keep track of each idea. To start us off I offered up a few themes.

  • “Magic is part of everyday life”
  • “Under the rule of evil tyrants”
  • “The gods are angry with mortals”

The group added a few of their own ideas.

  • “The area’s city-states offer war among themselves”
  • “Magic-users are seen as sub-human”
  • “Demon and devil incursion are commonplace”
  • “Government propaganda abound”
  • “The journey is more important than the destination”
  • “Adventure!!!”

The group then voted on their five favorites: “Under the rule of evil tyrants”, “Demon and devil incursion are commonplace”,”Government propaganda abound”, “Magic-users are seen as sub-human”, and “The journey is more important than the destination.”

Then we had a series of discussions on how to flesh out each one. During our discussions, I offered suggestions on what the group could add to the campaign. If those suggestions sparked an ideas or new discussions, I encouraged it. When a suggested didn’t sparked anything, I dropped it. As the game master I would have plenty of time to add flavor and content to the campaign. This world building session was for the players to get their ideas out there.

“Under the rule of evil tyrants” was the first to get some attention. They decided that the tyrants are secretly magic users but seen to be benevolent dictators. The groups adds the tyrants may be related to demons.

They decided “Demon and devil incursion are commonplace” only started in the past 15 years and they don’t have a central home base. The demons are drawn to magic users and they are the governments enforcers.

Aside from using demons it seems “Government propaganda abound.” They use their propaganda is to vilify magic users. Blame them for the demon attacks. Also to smear the neighboring country, the Wild Wizards of the West.

With all this negativity it seem the general population sees “Magic-users are seen as sub-human” and fear them. This opinion started around the same time the demon started attacking. But the magic users themselves don’t feel like they are sub-human or sub-dwarf, or sub-elf.

“The journey is more important than the destination” wasn’t expanded because I felt it was pretty self explanatory. I kind of wish I had given the group the opportunity just to see what the players would had done with the idea.

And so the country of Welldrake was born. The basic themes and ideas of the campaign were laid out. Armed with the new knowledge the players built characters and I ran a quick introduction season where the characters are whisked away to the far reaches of the country and need to travel back the capital.

By the time the second session rolled around I had taken a little time to write up a little flavor text for the campaign.

Thirty years ago the kingdom of Welldrake was under attack from marauding demons. The kingdom’s military was unable to protect its people as towns were destroyed and thousands were killed. A small heroic band of adventurers were able to do the impossible and stop the demons. In the process, they uncovered clues to a conspiracy amongst the kingdom’s elite and leadership.

The heroes gained a new purpose and founded an organization, the Inquisition, to uncover how deep the conspiracy went. They found priests, nobles, generals, and even the king himself guilty of working with the demons. At the center of it all was the Wizard’s College and its members. They had started and lead the conspiracy against the people of Welldrake.

The next ten years was marked by a war between the Wizard’s College and the Inquisition. When the war ended the Inquisition had won and the Wizard’s College and all its members were destroyed. The Inquisition ended the monarchy’s rule, set up a new ruling council, and outlawed the study of magic.

The new nation of Welldrake had peace again for five years. Then the first reports of demon attacks spread. With the Wizard’s College gone suspicion ran amok and blame was put into any caster of spells, wizard or not. Priests and the naturally gifted were targeted with anger and fear. The people of Welldrake were scared demons were returning.

That was 15 years ago, the fear and suspicion has only gotten worse.

In one creative brainstorming session the group gave me the basic tools to make a campaign that they, collectively, would be interested in. We could have taken more time to dig deeper into the world, races, magic, and lore but we only focused on what interested the group. Any concepts left unexplored were for me to fill in later or not at all.

I like group world building idea. I think it has great potential. I would love to see what a different group does with it and how it shapes their campaign. If you have done something like this before, let me know how it did or did not work out for you.

Gaming, Theory

Introductions to Tabletop Role-playing

I recently had the pleasure of running an introductory role-playing scenario for group of friends who were interesting in trying out tabletop RPGs. A few weeks prior, they had asked me if I could run something for them. So I dusted off an older one-shot sci-fi adventure, printed out some character sheets, packed up my dice, and readied myself to introduce (mostly) brand new players to role-playing. But was does an introduction to role-playing entail? Rule books and dice math? Character sheets and experience points? Hit points and critical hits? TPK and alignment arguments? I gave it some thought and came up with a few methods for introducing new players.

Storyteller Bias

There is no wrong way to role-play; there is only preference. My preference is to focus on stories and character development. Because of this preference, the rules as written or tactical play take a backseat to narrative drama and moments of cool. I’m going to try to put this bias aside for the rest of this article and focus more on what works on introducing new players to role-playing. Continue reading

Gaming

Cygnar Active Duty Roster – Season Two

Active Duty Roster Season two is at an end and my opinions on its line up are all but completed.

Lieutenant Allister Caine aka Caine1

Both Caine’s incarnations have been my least favorite casters since I started playing Cygnar. I think it has a lot to do with them always being knocked over and the oh-so-might defense meaning absolutely nothing. When Caine hit ADR I avoided him like the plague but when the local Journeymen League started I decided I’d give him a chance for the league. The league first few weeks were painful but once the 35 point games started I found Caine’s stride.

Caine1 is a support caster and plays that role well with most of Cygnar’s high defense ranged models like the Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers. He himself can eliminate most individual targets that get into his range. His high speed and teleport allows him to get into and out of trouble quickly. Although the high defense is nice it can’t be relied upon to save him. If he is unfortunate enough to be knocked down, by the many ways that is possible, he dies.

I found I started to begrudgingly like Caine. He more than once let me look at the board differently then I would with other casters. Everything became attack vectors and hiding spots. A complex game of cat and mouse where Caine was both.

Although I probably won’t be playing him for a while, I will be dusting him off again. I’m cautiously looking forward to his epic version next season.

Commander Dalin Sturgis

The infamous Sturgis is interesting addition to the Cygnar warcaster lineup. He moves like Caine. He supports like Stryker1 and fights like Stryker2. But even with the similarities, he brings a set of unique abilities to Cygnar.

The dream with Sturgis is to camp focus, feat drag a low defense model into charge range, charge and flash into melee with a caster, and take twelve to fourteen attacks in the new corpse of the opponents caster. I’ve pulled this off once and the non linear threat is impressive.

Aside from the dream Sturgis is a lead from the front caster. Enough of a melee threat to get work done. Using his defensive abilities and teleport from getting squished too easily. A mixer of covering fire and his feat makes quick work of infantry and solos. He doesn’t want to spend too many resources on his army so self sufficient units are a must for list building.

I enjoyed playing Sturgis so much I might replace him for my Styker2 tournament list. He is something different in Cygnar but not too far off to need anything to be good.

General Adept Nemo aka Nemo2

Nemo went through a midlife crisis where he thought jacks were cooler than lightning and became Nemo2. His mid life crisis passed and he regained his senses to become Nemo3. Although is the younger female assistant a sign of its continuation? As with most men that point in their life, he got some new clothes, meet a few juiced up buddies, and became obsession with fast machines.

I was first introduced to Nemo2 by Dennis and Mike from Rage Quit Radio and their speed machine list for the old man. Nemo2 and six Minutemen, the Son’s of Liberty. It’s a fun list. Super quick and perfect for Nemo2 feat and spell list. When I started playing him in standard formats I began with that list as my base. I quickly found I needed more.

Nemo2 is a jack caster. Most of his spell are for his warjacks. Polarity Shield is great for protecting a screening unit. Force Field is awesome against those knockdown casters and lucky deviations. Physically Nemo is still squishy and slow. The addition of Power Attack means he can attack a little better than before and it is his best option for attack.

The most notable ability is Elite Cabre [Stormsmith Stormcallers]. That ability made sure every list I made had three Stormcallers in it. Pow 12 skill checks were hilarious for scalping out solos and clearing up jamming units.

Nemo was my warmachine drop for most pairings. My lists were usually jack heavy with three heavies or Stormwall and a heavy plus some gun mages, stormblades or stormguard, and stormcallers. Add in some support for flavor: squire, junior.

In the end, I found Nemo2 fun but too focused to be a caster I’d use a lot.

Captain Kara Sloan

Sloan has been by far my favorite caster in the game. Even before she hit ADR I would find any reason to play her. Her play style coincides with mine so well. Sloan is single target death and the target is most likely your caster.

Now she isn’t prefect. She is commonly thought of as a mid to low tier caster. I might disagree with her given ranking but I do understand she has a few glaring weakness. First and foremost she is awful is melee. She should never be there, she has a sword but if she is using it something has gone horrible wrong. Sloan is also not great at support. Having the spell Dead Eye does make a good choice to support ranged units but with low armor and average focus, she is usually using that focus herself.

My Sloan list plays to her exceptional range. Either going for the early assassination or crippling heavy targets before they can reach my mostly ranged army. Sloan runs two defenders to make good use of her feat turn and play melee body guards to boot. Blazers, Gun mages, and Rangers. Taryn and Reinholdt are Sloan’s besties giving an extra shot and line of sight as needed. With ADR magic I was able to switch in and out Hunters, more guns, and random support which made the list able to handle lots of match ups. I built it to take on horde match and surprisingly I’ve given good games against Calandra, Doomy, Bradigus, and Thagrosh with a mix of luck and practice.

With season two over, I’ll be putting Sloan to the side lines but she is still one of my favorite casters.

Honorable Mention

Major Prime Victoria Haley aka Haley3 aka Time Lady

Unfortunately I didn’t get much time to play Haley and her temporal selves. I will say the primary gimmick of this caster isn’t my favorite. Bring out future and past requires losing the initiative first round and against a fast opponent that could really hurt. I need more time with her before I make a call on if I enjoy playing her so, for now, they are nice looking models.

Next season look like it is going to be interesting with Stryker2, Caine2, Nemo3, and Haley1.

Gaming, Theory

Character Decisions: The Squiggly Face Incident

A little while back, I played in a Fantasy Flights Star Wars role-playing campaign for a couple of months. During our sessions, one of the other players harped on a decision my character made near the start of the campaign. It became sort of a running joke about my character’s “diplomatic” skills. As a game master the mere fact the moment was brought up so often is a good sign to me. It indicates the scene was memorable even if it wasn’t beneficial to the party. In the player seat the jabs did make me question if my choice was a reasonable response to the situation. Should I have had my character act differently? Would my character have acted differently? I don’t think so but the series of exchanges got me thinking about character decisions,both PC and NPC, and how believable those decision should be.

Our unit was a group of rebel “spies.” I use the term spy VERY loosely. The team was not ideal for spying on the Empire: a Mandalorian force user in full combat armor, an explosives expert Wookie, a pyromaniac Klatooinian activist for droid’s rights, a medical droid modified for super effective unarmed combat, and my character, Maxir, a human ex-mercenary turned rebel solider. Maxir was basically Marv from Sin City; a brick of a man with close to the same shinning personality.

During a mission, we found ourselves in the lower areas of a space station and stumbled across a small slum. The area was obviously poor and forgotten but maybe they could give us directions to our objective. As we entered the slum the GM described the shacks and pointed out an individual who was directly ahead glaring at us. A male Twi’lek wearing a wide brimmed hat who was missing a head tail and a tribal tattoo on his face. Not missing an opportunity, my character spoke up and said, “Out of the way, Squiggly Face!” This comment incited my new Twi’lek friend to announce he was a captain of some kind. He called for a few minions and a fight broke out. We handled it easily and Squiggly Face escaped with a whirl of his cape. Not kidding, Captain Squiggly Face vanished by waving his cape around. The party attributes the later misinformation and almost being blown up by a thermal detonator to Squiggly Face.

I liked Squiggly Face. He was a recurring, mustache twirling villain. He’d show up with a big speech and an easily handled problem. He would vanish before we could catch him. He was ridiculously campy and made me roll my eyes more than once. I was a little disappointed when we finally caught him and Maxir just killed him.

I like to think my character interacted with the NPC appropriately per his gruff and rude personality. Definitely not the best way to ingratiate myself with the locals but he wasn’t the kind of person to make friends and honestly didn’t do most of the talking. A fellow player commented, “You wouldn’t walk into the ghetto and just start insulting people.” They were right, the actually me wouldn’t. I’m not disrespectful to strangers. My character on the other hand was a bit of a bastard.

On the other side of the exchange, did Squiggly Face act appropriately? Five fully armored individuals carrying heavy fire power walk into your neighborhood and insult you. How do you respond? After a few meetings with Squiggly Face, I figured he must have a megalomaniac complex. So maybe his openly violent response to my insult was very in character for him.

Decisions a character makes, both as a PC and NPC, are important. Not all those decisions need to be beneficial. People in real life and in stories make bad decisions all the time. The decisions display a character’s personally, they can cause or avoid conflict, or just add interesting flavor to the game.

Gaming

Battle Report – Last Minute Carolina Invitational Qualifier (Round 2)

This past weekend I headed up to Cornelius, NC to play in an invitational qualifier at Parker Banner Kent & Wayne – Comics & Games. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to fill the qualifier but the local guys were nice enough to play a couple tournament style games. No fussy pictures this time. I was playing my Sloan and Sturgis ADR pairing.

vs. Brian’s Khador

Brian was playing Butcher2’s Mad Dogs and a variant of Sorscha1’s Ocean Eleven. Neither of the lists I brought would have too much trouble clearing doom reavers but I’m not sure Sturgis would be a good drop into Sorscha. I picked Sloan and Brian picks Sorscha. I swap Pendrake, Long Gunners, and a Hunter for Blazers, Jr, and Rangers. I win the roll and choose to go first.

Deployment

The scenario was destruction. The board was covered in a lot of small hills. One forest on my side of the board on the left hand side and one forest on Brian’s side of the board on my right hand side.

Brian pre-deploys conquest center. I deploy Taryn, Sloan, Reinholdt, and two defender across from conquest behind a hill. Blazers and Jr on my left behind forest. Gunmage to my right. Brian deploys a group of merc solos (Harlan, Dougal, Gorman, Midwinter, Aiyana and Holt) and the Widowmaker Marksmen across from the Blazers. The Nyss deploy across from gun mages behind a forest. Sorscha stands next to Conquest. Mechanics behind. My rangers and Eiryss start in the forest in front of the blazers. Hunter in front of Gun mages. Brian’s Kell and widowmakers deploy in front of gun mages. Brian’s Eiryss deploys mostly center.

Round 1

I ran my forces forward. Gun mages run forward. The hunter takes a pot-shot at conquest; barely scratches it. Rangers stay in the forest and Blazers run to board center. Eiryss runs to left side hill. Sloan moves to center hill. Jr puts Arcane Shield on blazers.

Brian moves marksmen onto the hill within 5″ on Eiryss and misses the shot. Dougal mini feats. Harlan moves and shoots at Blazers. Killings one and misses next. Aiyana tries to kiss blazers; misses. Holt shoots at blazers injures it (thanks arcane shield) and misses next shot. Gorman advances and clouds on Aiyana and Holt. Widowmakers advance to edge of forest and kill a gun mage. Nyss advance in forest. Sorsha moves behind conquest, cast Boundless Charge, and wind rushes to the forest behind Nyss. Conquest charges my left side defender the charge is short. Mechanic run into Conquest.

Round 2

I waffle for a little while here. I have a very, very small change that I could see Sorsha and get enough shots in range to kill her but I’m really unsure if its worth the chance. So I start my turn with no real plan and allocate one focus to each defender. Eiryss aims and kills the marksmen. Then rangers advance and kill Dougal and trigger Holt’s quick draw. Blazers try and electro leap into Aiyana and Holt but miss every shot. At this point, I’m unsure of my next move. Hunter takes a shot into Conquest. Reinholdt reloads Sloan. Sloan moves forward on the hill and puts two shots into Conquest and Dead Eye on gun mages. Leaving her on a hill with no focus. Both Defender put boosted shots into Conquest, leaving him with a little less than half his boxes. Gun mages kill three of four widowmakers and they failed command check. Jr swaps Arcane Shield to Sloan. I ended my turn with Sloan on a hill with no LoS blocking.

Brian allocates three focus to conquest. Last widowmaker run to his deployment zone and Kell move make room for Sorsha. Reinholdt, that little traitor, reloads Sorsha. She walks forward and wind rushes up the board. She feat on everything dear to me. Shoots Sloan twice, one with boosted damage, putting about six damage on Sloan. The mechanic each roll repair and all four pass. They heal for 18 points on conquest. Conquest moves forward and fires the big gun. leaving Sloan at one box. The nipple gun finishes her off.

Khador victory!

I’m a little embarrassed to say I forgot the single most important thing to remember when fighting Sorsha1: block line of sight. If I had remembered and just had popped feat to kill conquest and used the blazers as LoS blockers. We might have gone on to a third round. Brian did a great job capitalizing on my mistake and hiding Sorsha from Sloan scary rifle.

Gaming

Battle Report – Last Minute Carolina Invitational Qualifier (Round 1)

This past weekend I headed up to Cornelius, NC to play in an invitational qualifier at Parker Banner Kent & Wayne – Comics & Games. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to fill the qualifier but the local guys were nice enough to play a couple tournament style games. No fussy pictures this time. I was playing my Sloan and Sturgis ADR pairing.

vs. David’s Retribution

Daivd was playing Vyros2 Griffin Spam and Ravyn’s Strike Force. David suggested we just roll randomly for fun and normally I’d be all for that but I do not like my odds if I get Sloan into Ravyn or Sturgis into Vyros. So I decline the fun today and go for the more tactical option: Sturgis. David chooses Ravyn. I win the roll and choose to go second. I swap the defender for a unit of stormblades, a stormblade captain and Rhupert.

Deployment

The scenario is two fronts. The board has a wall on my side on the left from center. Two small obstructions both middle of the board. One centered and other on my far left side. There is a fancy hill middle of the board my far right side.

I pre-deploy the Stormwall center. David deploys Ravyn center with Banshee and two min units of stormfall archer. One in front of each zone. I deploy Storm nouns on my right hand side. Gun mages on my left. Sturgis, the Black 13th, Lanyssa, and Sylys deploy near stormwall’s left side. David advance deploy. Infiltrators center. Two units of Strike force on my right and one on my left. Mage Hunter Assassin far left.

Round 1

David runs everything forward except the assassin and soulless, which he forgot. Ravyn caster snipe on red unit of strike force and charges the stormwall.

I move the gun mages forward and take snipe shots at the strike force but only kill one. Run the silverline up base to base but can’t engage anything. The rest of the storm nouns fill in behind silverline. Rhupert gives silverline fearless and tough. Stormwall walk forward drops a pod to kill one infiltrator and lays coverfire on both sides of the center obstruction. Black 13th moves in behind gun mages and Lanyssa advances. Sylys advances. Sturgis moves up a little and caster snipe on the stromwall.

Round 2

David’s horde of strike force takes a mix of moves and aims. They shoot dead all the stormblades, stormblade captain, two stormcallers, Lynch, Sylys, and three gun mages.The storm fall archers lite eight of the silverline on fire but miss the rest of the gun mages. Infiltrators run to engage lanyssa, and stormwall. Assassin runs to get into position. Ravyn swaps the snipe from red to blue of strike force in there some where and moves right into the center line of the stormwall. The Banshee advances.

The fire kills six out of the ten silverline. I put two focus on the stormwall and upkeep snipe. Stormwall aims and fires twice into Ravyn. Both shots hit but only 5 damage is dealt. I drop a pod on the other side of the board and put covering fire up again. Last stormsmith triangulates and kills three infiltrators including Eiryss. Lanyssa tries to kill the last infiltrator engaging the stormwall but misses. The four gun mages put shots into assassin and fail to kill. Siliverline charge to engage as many strike force as possible, killing two in process. Black 13th activate. Watts picks his nose as normal. Ryan mage storms the left hand pod. Sturgis moves forward feats and pulls a few models through cover and mage storm. Then teleports in between three strike force and one stormfall archer in the left zone. He is sitting on one focus.

Round 3

David drops snipe, allocates two to the Banshee. Ravyn activates, caste locomotion for two (Banshee moves), feats, and moves a little more to the left side. Banshee moves just barely into reach range of Sturgis. This is when David remember power attacks must be made at the 1/2″ mark and curses himself. He swings on Sturgis dealing a few points. The next few minutes are him trying to hit Def 20 Sturgis with range attacks. He does light him on fire but almost every attack misses including the assassin. He does kill all of his models surrounding Sturgis except the banshee. David kicks himself and switches the clock.

I dropped snipe and keep all my focus. Gun mages activate, thunderbolt banshee back a few inches, and kill the assassin. Black 13th move up. Watts kills a stormfall archer. Ryan shoots Ravyn twice with brutal. Spikes first damage roll and average second damage. Ryan does a magical 8 points total. Sturgis walks up to the banshee, swings with feedback and hits. At this point, I realize Ravyn has two boxes left. I swing my second initial and miss. No flash. Buy two attacks. Feedback hits. Electro leap misses. Buy two attacks. Boost hit with feedback. Ravyn dies to feedback.

Cygnar Victory!

That last round would have gone very differently if the Banshee hadn’t engaged Sturgis.