Monday, June 21, 2010

Curse you Blasted Heath!!!! Curse you!!!

Not really because I am enjoying playing in the Shattered Grounds League again. This means that I have barely touched paintbrush to model because my painting time is usually between 8p and 11p most week day nights. And since that is my free time I have chosen to spend that time down at the local gaming store trying to get in at least one game a night.

So far I haven't missed a night and I am 10 plus games in with quite a few points. I think I am on top of the ladder but I am not 100% certain. I guess I'll have to wait to find out at the end of the league. Win or Lose I am still having a great time and I think that is what it is about. I do have some concerns though because I am playing one of the most hyper-aggressive Warcasters that Cygnar has to offer. I am not saying hyper-aggressive in a rush-forward-punch-in-face type of way but just so useful that he is good at just about everything.

Major Marcus "Siege" Brisbane

Siege has one of the best spell lists in the game as far as balance goes. He is able to help out on the offense and defence with both ranged units and melee units, allows all friendly models to ignore line of sight, give his battlegroup the ability to ignore stealth/camo and on top of that his feat (when combined with the offensive use of his spell "Foxhole") almost always results in a caster kill.

The problem I see is that when I play him, my opponents are not always having fun. I am a firm believer in the fact that Warmachine/Hordes or any mini-game for that matter, is just that...a game. I know there is usually always a winner and always a loser but I have this infallible sense of fair-play and I feel bad when, from what I am perceiving, my opponent is not having a good time. Yeah I know what you are going to say, "Warmachine/Hordes plays aggressively and you have to go for the win all the time." Which to a certain extent is true but somewhere in there I think the concept of 'having fun' and it 'just being a game' gets lost in translation.

For instance in the last Shattered Grounds League, I played Kara Sloan almost exclusively to learn her inside and out. And I did. I would say that as far as the local gaming group goes, I am the best at playing her. Please keep in mind I am not trying to boost my own ego but when an entire group of people starts saying, "Grant, these models are in base-to-base contact," just about every time I play has to mean something. I still laugh every time someone says it because I think it is pretty damned funny but I digress.

Of course I had to play against folks to learn how to play Capt. Sloan and that required me to delve into the rulebook to find out which rules I could take advantage of. Well one of my main opponents is a very good friend of mine and we always have these drag-out-knock-down-bloody-as-all-get-out fights but during a few of the games I would look across the table and just see this utter look of absolute frustration right after I got off the kill on his warcaster. He assured me he was just mulling over the fight in his head but, to me at least, it looked like he was pissed and not having fun. Which in my opinion diminished the over gaming experience.

So now that I am playing Mr. 'Siege' Brisbane for the Blasted Heath leg of this league, I encountered another situation in where I looked across the table and my opponent, another very good friend of mine, and he just had this look of abject frustration on his face (as far as my perception goes). Part of that look, as I was told later, was due to a whole lot of sunburn and the other part was just the annoyance of playing against Siege with his ability to stop/ignore the rules of line sight. Other things where in play as well with the look of frustration, none of which I will discuss here, but when I saw the look it just kind of killed my enjoyment of the game. He assured me that he likes playing against skilled opponents so that he can become a better player and I can respect that. Heck, I love losing a hard-fought game much more than getting an easy win

I know that in order to win games in Warmachine and Hordes you have to play aggressively, the game is designed that way...but I do sometimes wonder if it is too aggressive or maybe I have gotten too competitive trying to get a League Coin that I am sacrificing my friend's enjoyment of the game so that I can get a little piece of stamped metal. All in all, I know that I will remain friends with these two and that there will be a huge chunk of kharmic retribution coming my least on the tabletop battlefield.

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