Monday, August 1, 2011

The end always means a new beginning...

Alrighty, NorCon 2011 is over. I have finished (for the moment at least) working on the Lamenters and I can finally start in on the Tale of Two Tiers project!

Of course I have already started the Tale of Two Tiers in a small fashion, I ordered in a few sets of the Dragon Forge bases, the ‘Square Cut Slate Tile with Round Lip’ bases to be exact. I decided to go with the Square Cut Slate (for short) because I wanted that walk-into-a-temple type feel to the army or maybe more-of-a-bunch-of-holy-warriors-marching-along-the-palisade-at-the-front-a-church-type feel.

Needless to say the bases are beautiful…and I haven’t even painted them up yet. Well, I have primer’d them and I did a quick black wash to get in all the cracks and crevasses that the primer missed but…I haven’t even painted them and they are amazing!

As soon as you get a batch of these bad dogs in your hand you know there is something cool about them. They are solid resin, so they have some weight to them. All the flash is along the bottom of the base and it was very easy to clean up. Also, there is no warpage at all, the bottoms are completely flat. The tops are well detailed and have a certain texture to them like they really are miniature tiles of slate. In my opinion, they are worth the money for some great looking bases that will add a nice unifying theme to my Constance Blaize Tier 4 list.

Now my big decision ahead of me is do I use the ‘classic’ Iron Clad and Lancer which are made out of pewter or do I go with the new plastic kits. I am kind of leaning towards the plastic kits because I have already assembled the Gallant upgrade on a new plastic kit and I would like to keep Constance’s battlegroup fairly uniform. Looks like I made up my mind already…it is a good thing I have one of the new Cygnar Battleboxes already and I can just cannibalize models from that. Eventually I will have to replace them for the demo kits, but at the moment I think I am safe.

And now for a change of Topic.

Hi, my name is Grant McMasters, and I am addicted to table-top Wargames. I know I have a problem but I have no intention of fixing it! Suck it!

So yes, I am admitting to myself and the random amount of people that read this blog, that I am a Mini Wargaming Whore! 100% through and through. To solidify my position on this I am going to be trying my hand at ANOTHER tabletop war game called Dystopian Wars.

Something totally different than Warhammer 40k or Warmachine/Hordes (/rant Fuck you Warmahordes people, I am going to say and type both of them separately until I die! It is Warmachine and Hordes, stop being so fucking lazy! /rant off). Dystopian Wars is a Victorian Era Steampunk Naval Battle wargame from Spartan Games. They also make Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada as well. I ordered the rulebook tonight and I have talked with Joel and Jon into joining me in this mad endeavor!

Per my usual recommendation to folks that want to get into Warhammer or Warmachine/Hordes (HA!!! See look at that...seperate), I went to the Spartan Games website and picked out the Nation that most appealed to my aesthetic side; which turned out to be the Covenant of Antarctica. Through a bit of research I found out that the Covenant of Antarctica hadn’t been release yet, so I decided to go with the Federated States of America (something about Paddlewheel steampunk ships just spoke to me).

I jumped online to purchase the rulebook for Dystopian Wars and added the Federated States of America starter box to the list, when low and behold…what dost my eyes see…but the Covenant of Antarctica starter is releasing today! So out went the Federated States from the online order and in went the Covenant of Antarctica!

Time to learn another gaming system. Hahahahaha! What can I say I am a glutton for punishment!

Speaking of punishment…Chris down at the Armory and I are trying to revitalize the Warmachine/Hordes (BWHAHAHA, I did it again) crowd. The gaming community around here is predominately Games Workshop, so I am going to have quite a bit of work ahead of me. But!! I did it once here in Redding before the dark times happened, so I know I can do it again.

Starting in September, I am going to start up a Slow Grow Campaign in hopes of breathing new life and interested back into Warmachine and Hordes. I talked with a few people at NorCon and they seemed genuinely interested in starting lists and getting into the game, so that gives me hope.

First month will be a simple 15pt list. Everything is allowed provided you can fit it into 15pts. Chris and I both agree that painted Miniatures are preferred but not required. Second month sees a build up to 25pts and finally the third month sees 35pt lists…hopefully with some form of tournament at the end.

Anyway enough rambling for the night…I have 47 bases to paint! Pictures next week I promise.


  1. Hey Grant,

    Here's an FYI on an obstacle to plan to overcome.

    The following was what turned myself, John Burns, and a few others off of Warmahordes (HA SUCK THAT!):

    One of it's original selling points was that the games were faster and less rules intensive then GW comparable systems.

    We listened and we hoped.

    Then we began seeing 35 point games that started about 6pm on a Friday night and were still going when we left at midnight the same night.
    I asked John Bonadelli about that once and he said the standard game is between 25 and 35 points.

    Watching a few games I quickly realized that although the core rules were pretty simple, each and every model was a rulebook untoitself with a myriad of rules and powers. Trying to understand each ones interaction with anyother model in the game was akin to play Magic The Gathering. So the claim that the rules are simple was a bit misleading. Sure the rules are simple. If everyone plays with the same model and nothing else.

    Right now there is an opinion that the only reason to play the game is that PP has more frequent and consistent support for their game rules. (I won't even mention the recent announcement on shipping times!)

    I've told you what are commonly felt problems with the game and I truly do hope you can find an easy way to leap those hurdles and bring in the players. I really don't have any good advice on how though which doesn't help you much, I admit.

    Now I'll conclude with something I felt but I cannot say anyone else has.

    You played a Demo game with me one time. Overall I liked the pace and rules of the game.
    The one and only thing I didn't like was shooting.
    It felt more like a long range melee strike then a shooting attack. There was something about the ability to boost a shot that felt non shooting to me.

    The last was only my opinion so take that with a grain of salt.


  2. Valid points. Now let me offer up a rebuttal.

    I am not sure who told you that the game was less rules intensive than the GW Games…I did say that the game was easier to learn because you already had a foundation of table top wargaming under your belt. There are many more rules in the game when you compare it to Warhammer 40k, I agree. However these rules add a level of strategy to the game that I truly enjoy. Warhammer 40k is a fun game, don’t get me wrong. However, Warmachine/Hordes plays much much differently and plays very much like chess. In chess, you have to think three moves ahead. The same applies to Warmachine and Hordes. The game is very strategic in nature. Due to the way the models are activated and interact with each other means that you can easily block yourself as much as block your opponent if you are not careful. The core rules are easy to understand and the each card subtlety changes certain rules without ruining the overall feel of the game.

    Again I am not sure who told you the rules were simple, if it was me, I apologize for the misunderstanding

    There is a certain amount of “deck building” involved with Warmachine and Hordes. I prefer to think of it as finding the Synergies within your list. Not unlike building an Army list for 40k or constructing your deck in MTG, you want to maximize your chances of winning. Think about composition scores for 40k Tourneys, you get judged poorly if you don’t have a balanced list. In Warmachine, no army is unbeatable, you just have to figure out how to win against your opponents list. The Factions are all very balanced with each other and because you can get a different experience from playing a different Warcaster, you get not just one list that wins out of each faction, but potentially many lists for each faction. There is also a much slower progression of “Codex Creep” in Warmachine than in 40k. Currently Grey Knights are the Bee’s Knees, before that it was Dark Eldar, before that it was Blood Angels…you see what I am getting at.

    Games can be played at the 15pt, 25pt, 35pt, 50pt, 75pt, 100pt and 150pt levels (This is getting into the Unbound territories, think Apoc for Warmachine). Most folks prefer to play at the 35pt levels because you are given access to a much larger pool of models that give you many more tactical options. Imagine how boring it would be if you only played 500pt games of 40k. You’d get burnt out pretty quickly on the game. The same applies to Warmachine, small games are fun but eventually you will want this model or that and that means you have to play the higher point games. The games generally play much faster than 40k. Scott P. and I can blow through a 35pt game in an hour, the biggest factor in that is because both Scott and I know the rules. How many games did it take you to get the rules down for 40k? I remember some of my first games lasted for hours as I had to pour over the 2nd Edition 40k rule book. Once I got it down though, each successive edition has just been learning the changes.

    This is my challenge to you (and the others who are silent), play more than one Demo game. Play more than a demo game. Hell…play a bunch of 15pt games with different warcasters and units and solos and warjacks (I have plenty of models and factions to go around), then after you have learned the rules or at least have a pretty decent understanding, make your judgment of the game. If after that, you still don’t like the game, then you are out nothing but a bit of time and a few missed games of 40k.

    As far as the Ranged attacks feeling like melee attacks…there are only certain models that are able to boost the to hit and damage rolls of their ranged attacks. Boosting is a part of the strategy of the game. Sometimes it is better not to boost.

    I hope I have answered some of your concerns and I invite you to participate in the Slow-Grow Campaign I am going to start up in September.

  3. As I struggle to be a contributing partner to the success of the local wargaming community, it is my duty to say "Show me how".

    Set us up a 15 point game that will be interesting and compelling. I'll play with an open mind and be fair in my critique and interest.