Gaming

Battle Report – The Wyvern’s Tale Carolina Invitational Qualifier (Round 1)

Disclaimer: This post includes fussy pictures and lots of Warmachine jargon.

I had the pleasure of heading up to Asheville, NC and playing in a Warmachine and Hordes masters style tournament. So I packed up my ADR casters and readied to pit my wits against the competition. My casters for the day were Kara Sloan and Dalin Sturgis.

ROUND 1 – vs. Tom’s Khador

Tom was my first opponent of the evening. His Khador was lead by Kommandant Irusk and Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed. The scenario was close quarters. Tom played Irusk and I played Sturgis. With my ADR, I switched out my silver line and Lanyssa for my storm lances.

Round 1 Bottom 1

First turn was uneventful. Both forces run forward. I cast snipe on the gun mages. Tom put superiority on Beast09 and cast inhospitable ground.  The Widow Makers are able to snipe a single gun mage off the table.

Round 1 Top 2

Turn two, the Stormwall advances with two focus and takes shots at Irusk dealing only four damage. Unfortunately for me Irusk was just barely within an inch of that wall and one shot missed. Stormwall deploys covering fire and pod in front of the black dragons. Black 13th shoots the pod with mage storm to finish the mouse ears of doom. Storm lances charge the Kayazy Assassins. The storm lances can only charge 5.5 inches but still manage to reach and unbelievable destroy 7 assassins. The gun mages shoot three widow makers. Defender shoots Beast09 and puts a dent in him.

Round 1 Bottom 2

Tom retaliates. Irusk feats, cast battle lust on the dragons, and inhospitable ground again. The black dragons mini feat and charge the Stormwall. They are all going to take at least one damage roll. First one makes it through on tough. The next five die on their way. Tom considers and the rest run to block LoS to Irusk. The assassins advance and are able to kill one storm lance. Winter guard rocket and shotgun the gun mages off the table. Beast09 was forgotten in the rush to kill the stormwall and with no focus he just runs across the water to engage.

Round 1 Top 3

Turn three is looking bad. Beast09 at my doorstep. Nothing to handle the winterguard. On top of that, Irusk feat is up. Black 13th are up first. Watts engages, Ryan is engaged, and Lynch aims. Brutal damage from Watts on black dragon. He toughs. Black penny shot from Lynch with enough damage. He toughs. Ryan’s too far for gunfighter and too close to mage storm the rest. Stormwall first hit into black dragon. He toughs. Electro leap kills Watts. Three hits into Beast09 leaves him a couple of boxes. Sturgis charges Beast09 and misses the feedback. Second swing kills. Teleport away. Storm lances position to kill assassins and the tough bastard of a black dragon… no one dies. Defender aims and shoots the Iron Fang Kovnik off the table.

Round 1 Bottom 3

Tom wants the stormwall dead. Casting battle lust and inhospitable ground again. Black Dragons charge the stormwall and nearly kills it. Tom remembers Aiyana then and has her kiss the stormwall. Winterguard move in and finish her off. The assassins mini feat and charge Sturgis but only put four damage on him.

Round 1 Top 4

Turn four starts and I think I have a brilliant plan… which turns out flawed. Ryan moves into melee with the assassins and mage storm to the face. Killing all enemies now that tough is gone. Sturgis takes a point too. Sturgis charges the Black Dragon lines killing three and the underboss. Sturgis feats. And that is where the plan falls apart. I forgot you can’t push across a wall and forgot Sturgis feat doesn’t affect warcasters. So Irusk sits nice and safely behind the wall with rough terrain between him and the storm lances. Realizing my mistake after the fact Sturgis teleports behind the mage storm cloud. Storm lances assault and do nothing important. Stormcaller kills Aiyana.

Round 1 Bottom 4

Tom’s turn to make a mistake. The black dragons kill a storm lance with the help of Holt. Joe give the winterguard boosted attacks and Saxon gives them pathfinder. Group of them advance into range of Sturgis but they are out of command range. A few pot shots at the defender dent it a little more. Irusk moves away from the Storm lances and puts up inhospitable ground once again.

Round 1 Top 5

On turn five, I see a glimmer of hope. If I can just get a few boosted shots into Irusk I might be able to win. Two focus on the Defender. He forfeits his movement and shoots Irusk. Leaving Irusk on just a few boxes. Saxon and a winterguard are blocking the only LoS Sturgis might be able to get. Stormcaller calls on Saxon and fails to kill him. Ryan Mage Storms the face the out of command winterguard. Lynch is forgotten in the rush. Sturgis tries to get a control point by casting lightning storm on the remaining the dragons. Fail to kill anyone. I end my turn with 18 seconds left on my clock.

Round 1 Bottom 5

Tom continues with his plan from last turn. Buffs the winterguard with Saxon and Joe. They advance (a few in engage the defender just in case) and shoots Sturgis off his hill.

Khador wins on assassination!

Afterthoughts:

Round 1 was a long and grueling battle. Both of us made some mistakes that we kicked ourselves for it afterwards but Tom played a great game focusing on my weaknesses. I enjoyed this game to the bitter end.

I feel I forgot a lot of important things like disruption from the stormcallers and Lynch’s True Sight most of the game. If a had remember to use them I might have been able to turn the tide.

Check out round 2 and 3!

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Gaming, Review

Boardgame Night – Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue

“Helicopter was out of fuel. We made an emergency landing near to a hospital. We thought it might be a good idea to check the place for supplies. But we made a mistake. The morgue was still occupied and the local were restless.”

A friend of mine called for a board game night to play Zombicide. I enjoyed my first run through with the original Zombicide. The Season 3 box looked like it was going to be just as much of a blast.

We quickly pulled together a scenario, picked 8 survivors (2 for each of us), grabbed a few beers, and settled in for a nice long game. The scenario was “simple.” Inside the hospital are two keys hidden among the six objectives. You win by finding the keys and doing one of the following:

  1. lock the hospital doors and clear the remain zombies from the building
  2. book it to the exit

First turn, we busted down the door to the hospital and split up to get objectives or find supplies. Five survivors went in the hospital and three stayed outside to check the tents. No big issues that turn. No one is wounded and we’ve found few weapons and supplies out in the tents. Second turn is where all hell breaks loose. Abomination pops up in my face as I grab the first objective. Crawlers spring from the beds, cutting a pair of survivors off from the group. We lose three people (gaining their zombie counter parts) and almost everyone was wounded before we were able to regroup outside the hospital doors. The rest of game was a slow brutal, attrition as survivor after survivor were whittled away.

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I feel this is the essence of Zombicide. We went in with no plan and split up with no back up and, as is bound to happen, lost the game. We had fun doing it but Zombicide is a cooperative game. Unlike some cooperative games, Zombicide punishes you harshly for not working together all the time. By the time we figured out we weren’t working together enough, it was already too late. We were zombie food.

The game itself is well designed to promote the cooperative play-style and capture the zombie survivor horror feel. The zombies feel terrifying and working together is the only way to combat them. The scenarios are built to be difficult but not impossible. It is a long game but it doesn’t feel like a long game. Even when were stuck just outside the hospital I never felt like we’d been there for two hours of real time that past.

The play suffers from too much upkeep between managing inventory, recording experience, remembering noise, zombie movement and zombie spawning. A lot of stuff gets forgotten or skipped in the heat moment. All that plus looking up the keywords in the rule book (that could be explained in the extra space on survivor cards) can slow the game to a crawl. An enthusiast might want to make basic rule cheat sheets for new players and reference cards for the survivor abilities just to speed up play.

All in all, I like Zombicide. It feels like a mix between Twilight Creations’ Zombies!!! and the dungeon crawl board games. The game pieces are visual interesting. The game can appeal to those who enjoy zombie themes, tactical puzzle solving, or cooperative play.

Gaming

Warmachine Journeyman League – Thoughts on Caine1

We are in week 4 of our local friendly game store’s Warmahordes Journeyman League. This time around, keeping with my “only-playing-ADR-casters” thing, I’m playing Lieutenant Allister Caine’s battle box with a Defender and a uh… Hammersmith. I haven’t played Caine1 a lot in the past. His unit support spell list appeals to me but his bang-bang teleport away play-style doesn’t. So I figured the league would be a good time for me to get to know him better. I hope to get more comfortable with the hit and run style.

As far as the battle box goes, Caine and the Defender love each other. It is a lot of fun to give the Defender two focus, cast Dead Eye and Snipe on him, then put a hole in a caster from 25 inches away. Of course, that means Caine is on zero focus and blast damage kills him. Although when their caster is on two boxes on the bottom of round one, the look on your opponent face is totally worth it. On the hand, the Hammersmith is dead weight. I like the Hammersmith. Who doesn’t like two giant hammers slamming your opponents heavies across the table? Caine just can’t deliver him. A jack marshal with pronto might be able get down the field but without the focus he doesn’t do the work when he gets there. All in all, the Hammersmith brings this battle box well below the other two Cygnar battle boxes when it come to early competitive play.

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For Caine himself, he seems to be a weird balancing act. You don’t want to spend too much of his focus so he can live through ~1 inch deviations blast damage but you want to support the models doing all the work. You want to play him far enough forward so he can setup his feat on the infantry before they tear into your lines but you want to immediately want to zip away from the danger zone. He needs a lot of support and wants model that are relatively self-sufficient. I’ve found models like Sylys and Journeyman Warcaster are important for his survival and effectiveness on the field.

So far this battle box has been disappointing only because of the mostly useless Hammersmith. We are still in 25 point games in the league. Maybe the 35 point games is where Caine and his mismatched force will really shine. We shall see.

Gaming

Cranky Arkham Knight

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about getting Arkham Knight on PC instead of console like I would normally do for a triple A game. I don’t own any of the current generation of consoles. Logically I shouldn’t buy a new console just for one game that I’m only going to put – maybe – 20 hours into.

But the “discussions” about the poorly implement PC port for Arkham Knight have me torn. On one hand, I don’t really want to deal with a game that is so buggy on PC when the option to play it on a console is available. On the other hand, I’m not sure I will be picking up any games on console in the future since my PC is okay and I’ve been playing mostly indie games anyway.

This is my personal dilemma and the logical brain is winning, mostly. If I can wait that long, I’ll just wait until they fix the issues and buy it on PC.

A loud minority of the internet is much angrier. Complaining about frames per second caps, technical issues, and their under utilized super elite computing power. Not really about actual game quality. There is plenty to be upset about if you pre-order a game and you receive less quality then promised so I can’t really fault anyone for being hot under the collar but some of these complaints seem ostentatious; specifically said to boast about the commentator’s equipment.

I think the main point consumers should take from this whole ordeal is as gamers and consumers we should hold publishers and game developers to a certain level of standard. If the game doesn’t meet expectations, don’t pay for the product and let them know why through thoughtful reviews and discussions.  If they can fix the issues in a reasonable frame time and you still feel the game is worth your money and time, buy it. Enjoy it. Then judge the game on its merits as game.

Gaming

Cygnar Active Duty Roster – Season One

I’ve been playing exclusively the Cygnar Active Duty Roster casters this year; plus or minus a few tournament practices games as requested. As season one is coming to an end, I’ve been thinking about each caster and what I learned about each of them.

ADR Models Season 1

Constance Blaize aka ConnyB

ConnyB is an interesting caster when played in Cygnar but I never really got the hang of her. First, I started playing her theme force. Precursor Knights and Sword Knights covering the board. After a few games I didn’t feel the benefits balanced out the restriction. Later, I started creating lists with more jacks like lancers and defenders and more ranged units. These list felt more Cygnar and I had closer games. Although Conny didn’t do much for those list except sit on focus and feat in the face of incoming alpha strike. On the positive side, I love Sunburst and Banishing Ward. I could see her being played as a front line caster and having her wreck someone’s day. I definitely need more time with her if I want to get better although I not sure I want to be better playing ConnyB. She needs something I can’t put my finger on. Something that Cygnar doesn’t provide right now. That and her sculpt is way past the time for an update.

Captain Jeremiah Kraye

Captain Kraye-Kraye is just that, crazy. With movement and cavalry awesomeness. Even though I only pulled out a few wins with him, each game was fun and sometimes nail bitingly close. With his high base armor, parry, steady, and good speed he is hard to pin down and even harder to put down. He isn’t a huge threat himself but he buffs his jacks into stompy killing machines with melee or ranged. I played around with ranged centric lists first. Oh, the feeling of getting a Cyclone six boosted attacks. Followed up by a few Hunter shots. Later, I tried my hands at Full Tilt missile list. That was a tough one to make work but I got to pull it off once. So satisfying! I never did get the timing of his feat quite right. Overall Kraye is a fun caster to play. He fills an unique spot in Cygnar without being too far away from what Cygnar does well.

Commander Adept Nemo aka Nemo1 aka Old Man Stats aka Sparky Pants aka Dead

Nemo1 is one of those casters that you just want to be good but then you look at his cards and think, “What am I going to do about Hordes factions?” Short answer “Disruption Field and 5 focus on a Centurion”. I like Nemo1. He is fragile and has a decently long list of bad match ups but he is an interesting puzzle of a caster. With up to eleven focus you can generate per round you would think he’d be an awesome attack caster or jack caster but I found I was playing a balancing act of giving out focus and camping so a stray blast template didn’t put him in the dirt. The few times I did cast Chain Lightning it was to clear out support not trying to go for the assassination. The early lists I build looked a lot like my Nemo3 lists but without Nemo3’s feat the horde of electric leap and chain lightning attacks weren’t nearly as scary. DJThunder with 5 focus is still scary but it wasn’t working for me. The later lists worked off of high defense models. Mixed in with a few lightning rods. I enjoy Nemo1 for the challenge and I’ll probably play him again just to watch my opponents face while all their jacks are disrupted the whole game.

Commander Coleman Stryker aka Stryker1

The ultimate support caster, Stryker, is a great Cygnar warcaster. I do understand why he isn’t played outside of the battle box and early games. He isn’t a huge threat himself and he is a jack of all trades, master of none kind of deal. He does makes the whole army hit better and be more survivable but he lacks a gimmick. Which may be the reason he is so good. No frills. No gimmick. Just a solid caster.
I built early lists to take advantage of his feat with the highest armor Cygnar (and my model selection) could provide. Those early lists have done excellent. Aside from some minor tweaks, I haven’t changed them much from the start of the year. Stryker has made armies struggle over the scenario against his unkillable forces. Although, he’ll be back on the shelf come the end of June I will always enjoy playing Commander Stryker.

Random

You enter the candle lit tavern…

… a hooded figure approaches you. His thin, weathered hands slowly pull his heavy woolen hood back revealing a face craved deep with age. His piercing blue eyes stare into you.

“I have something very important to tell you,” his voice dark with mystery.

You lean in closer, eager to hear the wisdom about to bestowed upon you. Instead, the old man won’t shut up about his twelve level elvish paladin.


Hi, I’m Justin or Crispy to my friends. You can call me Crispy if you’d like. I’m a gamer, game master, over-thinker, and general dorky person. I’ve started this blog as a place to post my ideas about gaming, specifically table-top role-playing games. I’ll be posting stories, theories, opinions, and reviews. I hope you find them fun and entertaining.