When I left my Skorne army in Seattle after Lock and Load, I knew that I wouldn’t be playing them until they were shipped back, and because I wasn’t in any hurry, I figured it’d be a while. Having purchased and carted the Croak Raiders back to the east coast with me, I figured I’d try and get at least a few games in with them before I jumped back into Skorne, and while I’ll eventually use them in Skorne, I’ve got some plans for what I want to do when I take them out tonight.

I’ve given a cursory overview of two of the games I played back two weeks ago, I even took pictures that I never shared of my second game:

This is how a confident Ginger starts his game.

 

This is how he ends it. Barnabus survived to kill the Judicator, but lost the war.

Last week, I got my third, and final, minions game in against one of our newer Legion players. By newer, I mean has not been playing for 5+ years. Our meta is pretty aged. This fella, though, has gotten pretty good, pretty fast, and is playing some really nasty lists. He’s gone right for the throat, and I cannot be more pleased.

His List:

Saeryn
-Blight Wasps (x3)
-Carnevian
-Typhon
-Zuriel
Forsaken x2
Shepard x2
Deathstalkers x2

 

My list:

Barnabus
-Bull Snapper
-Blackhide Wrastler
Croak Raiders (max)
Bog Trog Ambushers (max)
Gatorman Posse (max) x2
Croak Hunter x2
Gatorman Witch Doctor x2

I lost the roll, and chose the board edge. I thought the hill would be nice, but it ended up being right in the way for most of my models on turn 1, and out of it the second turn and beyond. I deployed a standard formation, with the ‘Caster in the center along with his battlegroup, To either side I placed a full unit of posse and a Witch Doctor. The Croaks advance deployed and the Ambushers, well ambushed. His deployment was a fairly straight forward up-the-middle for Saeryn, blocked by the house that legion just doesn’t care about. I dropped my AD front and center, again, with a Hunter to either side of the raiders.

See, this is where I’m starting to learn a little bit about AD shooting units, and about my deployment in general. I’m not very creative when it comes to getting my troops out, and I need to fix that. Take advantage of terrain, make sure that I get some advantage to my side and deploy with a strategy to take the scenario. Its not my greatest strength. Pre-game, as a whole, is not my strong suit, and I am working on that.

So you understand the layout. This is about turn 3.

We played destruction, and I wasn’t really ready for it, more than anything. i’d not thought about what Barnabus or any of the gators would want, but I pulled out Arcane Wonder because 1 cost IF is an extremely good advantage to have, and being able to cast it on myself fairly easily would likely be key.

Turn one 

Like all turn ones, we pretty much just ran and advanced. He was very aware of what my Croaks would do, and knew that he couldn’t move more than 9″ out of his Deployment zone or get cranked with some Fire Damage rolls. so, he took up a cautionary position, Typhon and Zuriel right in front of the house, the Carnivean on my right. Blightwasps were everywhere, running to either side and up the center. I advanced, tossed a single spear with my Raiders, killing a Wasp, and dropped Iron Flesh on them. One set of Gators ran with Dirge of Mists on the Left, the other with Pathfinder on the right. The Dirged unit and the Croaks received Undead and Tough. everything else kinda just moved up and around, except for the Bull Snapper, who moved up and put Spiny Growth on Baranbus, espousing the virtues of good habits. Baranabus dies the turn he does not have Spiny Growth on him. (Pay attention, this is important)

Turn Two

 

His turn two goes exactly like I expect. He jams in with everything, slaughtering everything he gets his blighted mitts on, and causing me no end of trouble. Though Undead, tough, and defense 16, he managed to land a Breathstealer on them, the leftmost unit of wasps into them,  and then clean up with Typhon and Zuriel, each killing 2.7 of my 10 Raiders fell that turn, with 0 tough checks made. It is what it is. Thankfully, I have backup in Gators, and he left a few of the wasps outside of his feat.

 

My turn was spent gathering forces and preparing my army to try and weather the storm what was going to follow as best it could. I contemplated using my feat here, but was deterred because I couldn’t knock down the flying models like Zuriel and the Blight Wasps. Turns out, In my haste to use a new faction, I forgot that all those blight wasps could be knocked down, and next turn it would be a fury nightmare. Instead, I just tried to make it as difficult as possible for him to make headway next turn without committing some heavies, who I hoped I would be able to kill. I was able to remove almost the whole of the Blight Wasp unit on the left, but as you’ll note in the picture, that left my entire second unit of gators out in the cold, unable to charge the next turn.

Turn Three

His retaliation was swift and brutal, and I really was not prepared for it. Blight wasps killed a gator, and the Carnevian killed another, all under Iron Flesh, Dirge of Mists, and Tough. My last four croaks died inglorious deaths, having done two damage to the Objective and killed a Blight wasp between them all. The king, though, was the Wrassler, who, under Spiny Growth weathered charges from both Typhon and Zuriel. Thankfully, both of their charge attacks rolled snake eyes and I was able to dodge the bullet. Barnabus, in preparation for his next turn, charged up into Zuriel when he landed and did a pretty significant amount of damage, all the while keeping out of melee range of the beast himself.

I started this turn and felt that I had to turn the tide. If I made it through this turn and could take out a substantial portion of his army, I’d be pretty pleased, overall. I brought in the Bog Trogs on the right to try and put pressure on Saeryn and kill some Wasps, and I started the turn by popping Barnabus’ feat, knocking down nearly everything left.I then walked away from Zuriel (who had respawn on him) in order to toss some damage into Typhon, who was under Spiny Growth. I also spent 4 points to heal up the Blackhide, not wanting him to go down to an unfortunate Spiny Growth Damage roll. Sadly, this put Barnabus in a pretty perilous Position (see “FLAG” below), and though I did manage to kill both Typhon and Zuriel, though my bull snapper had to chip in on Zuriel, and didn’t cast Spiny Growth on Barnabus. Indeed, even though I knew that Saeryn had a Grevious Wounds Knife, I still left myself with two fury, enough to have cast Spiny Growth.

Not my best of moments.

Turn 4

This story looks unfortunate for our Gator Hero, but there is still hope. His paltry def 13 won’t save him, but a solid arm 19 could provide the durability he needs to survive the coming onslaught. Saeryn gets the first crack at him and drops Breathstealer on him, then follows up with a knife, hitting and tagging him with Grevious Wounds. Next, she bottoms out her fury and pegs him with a blast of hellfire, doing 8 untransferable damage. Now, the blight wasps come in, with two getting the charge after shaking off their knockdown. After all the attacks are made – two charges and two buy/boost damate, I am left sitting on 2. The final nail has to come from the Carnivian. He is currently engaged with two gatormen, and in order to see Barnabus, he has to move. He takes the first free strike, which does around 7 damage, blowing out his mind. The second free strike spikes hard, rolling 6/6/5 and doing some 12 damage to the poor fella, and blows out his body. He still has his spirit, though, and can force for boosts. With his spray ignoring in combat bonus, he needs a 7 to hit, and at dice -5, he needs 7 damage to kill me. Its nearly a coinflip, but he drops them both, and poor Barnabus roasts in dragonfire.

Afterthoughts

I thought I had it, and my opponent even said the same, but in the end, what I said would happen, happened. Without Spiny Growth, I didn’t have a chance, but with it, I may have been able to survive. the Blight wasps would have left me at much higher health,and a dice -7 spray from the Carnivian is a much harder task to accomplish.

Even with Iron Flesh and Tough, the Raiders were really unable to leverage any sort of offensive output. That is, to be completely honest, my fault. I’ve rarely, possibly never, used an AD shooting unit, and it seems they require much more finesse than at first blush, especially against an army so fast. Me getting them killed, or even simply wasting them, has been a theme in all three games, and I look to make better use out of them when the day comes that I pick them up again. I can see how they are very good, and I know its my inability to use them correctly that is holding them back.

Now, though, I Finished painting Zaal right before I went out to Lock and Load, and I look forward to putting the Immortal Host on the board tonight!

When I left my Skorne army in Seattle after Lock and Load, I knew that I wouldn’t be playing them until they were shipped back, and because I wasn’t in any hurry, I figured it’d be a while. Having purchased and carted the Croak Raiders back to the east coast with me, I figured I’d try and get at least a few games in with them before I jumped back into Skorne, and while I’ll eventually use them in Skorne, I’ve got some plans for what I want to do when I take them out tonight.

I’ve given a cursory overview of two of the games I played back two weeks ago, I even took pictures that I never shared of my second game:

This is how a confident Ginger starts his game.

 

This is how he ends it. Barnabus survived to kill the Judicator, but lost the war.

Last week, I got my third, and final, minions game in against one of our newer Legion players. By newer, I mean has not been playing for 5+ years. Our meta is pretty aged. This fella, though, has gotten pretty good, pretty fast, and is playing some really nasty lists. He’s gone right for the throat, and I cannot be more pleased.

His List:

Saeryn
-Blight Wasps (x3)
-Carnevian
-Typhon
-Zuriel
Forsaken x2
Shepard x2
Deathstalkers x2

 

My list:

Barnabus
-Bull Snapper
-Blackhide Wrastler
Croak Raiders (max)
Bog Trog Ambushers (max)
Gatorman Posse (max) x2
Croak Hunter x2
Gatorman Witch Doctor x2

I lost the roll, and chose the board edge. I thought the hill would be nice, but it ended up being right in the way for most of my models on turn 1, and out of it the second turn and beyond. I deployed a standard formation, with the ‘Caster in the center along with his battlegroup, To either side I placed a full unit of posse and a Witch Doctor. The Croaks advance deployed and the Ambushers, well ambushed. His deployment was a fairly straight forward up-the-middle for Saeryn, blocked by the house that legion just doesn’t care about. I dropped my AD front and center, again, with a Hunter to either side of the raiders.

See, this is where I’m starting to learn a little bit about AD shooting units, and about my deployment in general. I’m not very creative when it comes to getting my troops out, and I need to fix that. Take advantage of terrain, make sure that I get some advantage to my side and deploy with a strategy to take the scenario. Its not my greatest strength. Pre-game, as a whole, is not my strong suit, and I am working on that.

So you understand the layout. This is about turn 3.

We played destruction, and I wasn’t really ready for it, more than anything. i’d not thought about what Barnabus or any of the gators would want, but I pulled out Arcane Wonder because 1 cost IF is an extremely good advantage to have, and being able to cast it on myself fairly easily would likely be key.

Turn one 

Like all turn ones, we pretty much just ran and advanced. He was very aware of what my Croaks would do, and knew that he couldn’t move more than 9″ out of his Deployment zone or get cranked with some Fire Damage rolls. so, he took up a cautionary position, Typhon and Zuriel right in front of the house, the Carnivean on my right. Blightwasps were everywhere, running to either side and up the center. I advanced, tossed a single spear with my Raiders, killing a Wasp, and dropped Iron Flesh on them. One set of Gators ran with Dirge of Mists on the Left, the other with Pathfinder on the right. The Dirged unit and the Croaks received Undead and Tough. everything else kinda just moved up and around, except for the Bull Snapper, who moved up and put Spiny Growth on Baranbus, espousing the virtues of good habits. Baranabus dies the turn he does not have Spiny Growth on him. (Pay attention, this is important)

Turn Two

 

His turn two goes exactly like I expect. He jams in with everything, slaughtering everything he gets his blighted mitts on, and causing me no end of trouble. Though Undead, tough, and defense 16, he managed to land a Breathstealer on them, the leftmost unit of wasps into them,  and then clean up with Typhon and Zuriel, each killing 2.7 of my 10 Raiders fell that turn, with 0 tough checks made. It is what it is. Thankfully, I have backup in Gators, and he left a few of the wasps outside of his feat.

 

My turn was spent gathering forces and preparing my army to try and weather the storm what was going to follow as best it could. I contemplated using my feat here, but was deterred because I couldn’t knock down the flying models like Zuriel and the Blight Wasps. Turns out, In my haste to use a new faction, I forgot that all those blight wasps could be knocked down, and next turn it would be a fury nightmare. Instead, I just tried to make it as difficult as possible for him to make headway next turn without committing some heavies, who I hoped I would be able to kill. I was able to remove almost the whole of the Blight Wasp unit on the left, but as you’ll note in the picture, that left my entire second unit of gators out in the cold, unable to charge the next turn.

Turn Three

His retaliation was swift and brutal, and I really was not prepared for it. Blight wasps killed a gator, and the Carnevian killed another, all under Iron Flesh, Dirge of Mists, and Tough. My last four croaks died inglorious deaths, having done two damage to the Objective and killed a Blight wasp between them all. The king, though, was the Wrassler, who, under Spiny Growth weathered charges from both Typhon and Zuriel. Thankfully, both of their charge attacks rolled snake eyes and I was able to dodge the bullet. Barnabus, in preparation for his next turn, charged up into Zuriel when he landed and did a pretty significant amount of damage, all the while keeping out of melee range of the beast himself.

I started this turn and felt that I had to turn the tide. If I made it through this turn and could take out a substantial portion of his army, I’d be pretty pleased, overall. I brought in the Bog Trogs on the right to try and put pressure on Saeryn and kill some Wasps, and I started the turn by popping Barnabus’ feat, knocking down nearly everything left.I then walked away from Zuriel (who had respawn on him) in order to toss some damage into Typhon, who was under Spiny Growth. I also spent 4 points to heal up the Blackhide, not wanting him to go down to an unfortunate Spiny Growth Damage roll. Sadly, this put Barnabus in a pretty perilous Position (see “FLAG” below), and though I did manage to kill both Typhon and Zuriel, though my bull snapper had to chip in on Zuriel, and didn’t cast Spiny Growth on Barnabus. Indeed, even though I knew that Saeryn had a Grevious Wounds Knife, I still left myself with two fury, enough to have cast Spiny Growth.

Not my best of moments.

Turn 4

This story looks unfortunate for our Gator Hero, but there is still hope. His paltry def 13 won’t save him, but a solid arm 19 could provide the durability he needs to survive the coming onslaught. Saeryn gets the first crack at him and drops Breathstealer on him, then follows up with a knife, hitting and tagging him with Grevious Wounds. Next, she bottoms out her fury and pegs him with a blast of hellfire, doing 8 untransferable damage. Now, the blight wasps come in, with two getting the charge after shaking off their knockdown. After all the attacks are made – two charges and two buy/boost damate, I am left sitting on 2. The final nail has to come from the Carnivian. He is currently engaged with two gatormen, and in order to see Barnabus, he has to move. He takes the first free strike, which does around 7 damage, blowing out his mind. The second free strike spikes hard, rolling 6/6/5 and doing some 12 damage to the poor fella, and blows out his body. He still has his spirit, though, and can force for boosts. With his spray ignoring in combat bonus, he needs a 7 to hit, and at dice -5, he needs 7 damage to kill me. Its nearly a coinflip, but he drops them both, and poor Barnabus roasts in dragonfire.

Afterthoughts

I thought I had it, and my opponent even said the same, but in the end, what I said would happen, happened. Without Spiny Growth, I didn’t have a chance, but with it, I may have been able to survive. the Blight wasps would have left me at much higher health,and a dice -7 spray from the Carnivian is a much harder task to accomplish.

Even with Iron Flesh and Tough, the Raiders were really unable to leverage any sort of offensive output. That is, to be completely honest, my fault. I’ve rarely, possibly never, used an AD shooting unit, and it seems they require much more finesse than at first blush, especially against an army so fast. Me getting them killed, or even simply wasting them, has been a theme in all three games, and I look to make better use out of them when the day comes that I pick them up again. I can see how they are very good, and I know its my inability to use them correctly that is holding them back.

Now, though, I Finished painting Zaal right before I went out to Lock and Load, and I look forward to putting the Immortal Host on the board tonight!

Please be aware there will be spoilers… for a game almost a year old

There has been a vast emptiness on the front of Dragon Age: Inquisition, a game I was given as a gift for Christmas to go along with my newly-acquired Xbox 1 from Black Friday. There we two great causes to the silence. First, I was vigorously attacking the painting challenge I had in front of me – That of getting all of the Rasheth Tier list painted for Lock and Load, and that of a little bit of boredom.

Painting for Lock and Load was easily conquered, as the event is not in the past, and I can’t time travel. The list was finished, and I even got to use it in 5 50 point games and 8 35 point games. That obstacle conquered, I needed to have a solution to the second, and much more intense problem.

This is something I have butted up against time and again when playing the video games I enjoy, and each time it is harder and harder to break through the barrier. These games tend to be long, sprawling games that are intentionally left a little more open than the traditional game would be. This very openness I find so attractive is also the games generic downfall many times, as the game never lets you know where you stand in the story and the game. Instead the game lets you meander at your own pace, or race through to the end, and lets you make that decision.

This comes in conflict, for me, because I am a legacy RPG player who has developed a near-instinctual need to explore and complete every part of where I am before moving on to a new area. There may be loot, there, that is left behind when I go into a new zone, something I might never be able to recover if I am not the most diligent and through investigator of overturned rocks and hollow logs. This habit strongly, strongly, inhibits me when I go to wander through a zone for a bit. I can never, ever, just go somewhere the first time, and wreaks hell with my timing-immersion. I can never “hurry” to anywhere, regardless of how insistent the characters are.

This legacy of investigation, combined with the starting area of Dragon Age: Inquisition being the zone most packed with stupid side quests and wide open areas, lead to me stalling, very quickly, on the game. I wasn’t getting XP at a good clip from the random encounters and the standard quests, yet there were big, powerful demons in the zone that were beating my ass something fierce. I felt I was both too high, and too weak, for the zone. Reluctantly, I engaged the story-mode and moved forward to the new and extremely cool Skyhold for my base of operations instead of the base town of Haven that I thought I was stuck in forever.

Even that, though, was short lived. Each area I ventured into was another assault on my person, being loaded with side quests and collections and a bevy of other minor tasks to eat your time. Quickly, I grew irritated at the vast and sundry list of possible things to occupy my character – The world shakingly powerful Inquisitor! Things of epic importance and monumental consequence! Tasks like… put a note in a stump. Return a rabbit-creature. Guide a cow home.

I have my rules, though, and I stick to them. I was gonna finish this game, and no obstacle, not even fun, was going to stand in the way of my goal. So, I put my big boy pants on, and grabbed the first of the major quest lines I had been sitting on and dove right into it.

Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts was possibly the most surreal time I have had playing that game. I was without weapons, without powers and had to talk to people carefully or you would get booted from a party and loose the game. Though the conclusion was interesting, and I had a feeling the whole time that things weren’t what they seemed, I don’t feel that the three hours I spent trying to complete the quest was worth it. The boss fight was interesting, but I overpowered it by leaps and bounds, so it didn’t present any sort of challenge. It was, however, enjoyable. I moved the plot forward and found out a bit more about what is going on and why I, as a player and character, want to complete the game and save the world.

Immediately after the conclusion of Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, I jumped into Here lies the Abyss. I spent the requisite Power and assaulted the Grey Wardens Adamant Fortress, determined to cleanse the demonic infestation. I know I’ll need the Gray Wardens at the end of the day, because Corphyus is the Blight Incarnate, and the Wardens are the hammer that shatters the Blight. Thankfully, the Fortress assault works exactly like I concieved it would, and I have a delightful time cutting my way through demons and making hard, harsh decisions throughout the mission. The end, when fighting Nightmare was hard enough to make me replay it once before taking him out, and then it was only by the skin of my teeth, with Cassandra and I almost dead with no potions to speak of.

After returning to Skyhold, I started, and for the life of me, I cannot remember why, to the playable party characters in Shyhold. Lo and behold, I run into cutscene after cut scene with meaningful character building, dialogue and cool quests to complete! I am re-energized to play the game, and feel fully vindicated in my decisions to shrug off all of the zone-based quests. If I wanted to play WoW, I would, and I’d run around every zone until I completed every quest there was. I do not have that drive, however. Instead, I want to create and build a team of like minded heroes that will stand against the Great Evil of Corephyus at all costs, and I want to feel that the characters are as real as videogame characters get.

Its why I sent Hawke to fight, and die, against Nightmare. Its what I would have done with my character, if it was possible. This instance, it was!

 

While I was out at Lock and Load, I was able to pick up a box of Croak Raiders to bolster both my Minions force, and to potentially play with a Skorne caster or two.

These Bad Boys

Acquiring these became even more beneficial when I left the whole of my Skorne army in Seattle, and needed to have it shipped home, something its in the process of as I write this. Without Skorne, which I have been focusing on this year, to purloin my time, I needed something else to play for last weeks game night. With the Croak Raiders in my bag, I pulled them out and hastily assembled them, dojoing lists for them in my head over and over.

They all kept coming back to the same place: Barnabus. He’s got a knockdown feat, and there isn’t anything a ranged unit cavorts gleefully at than a caster who’s got knockdown on tap. Here, though, I run into trouble. The list I built was something like this:

Bloody Barnabus
-Bull Snapper
-Ironback Spitter
Bog Trog Ambushers (min)
Bog Trog Ambushers (min)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Croak Raiders (max)
Croak Hunters (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor

The Concept here was to have the Gatorman Posse take the brunt of the action until the Trogs come in, have the Trogs overwhelm the edges, and get an assassination via knockdown with the Croak Hunters, and the Raiders. Lurking in the back would be Barnabus and the Spitter, looking to finish out anything causing problems.

I was really confident of the concept when I built the list, and though I thought it has some weaknesses, I was willing to move forward into the testing phase of list design. My first opponent was scheduled to be Cryx, which is fine, as I’ve played them myself for an extremely long period of time. There was a predicament, though, in that I know the guy likes to run Incorporeal models, and the list above has no solution ready for them.

I pondered the issue for a bit before realizing that I might want to try a bit stronger list against Incorp against Cryx, and that list would be steered by none other than our Gator Queen, Jaga-Jaga. I felt like I was teching, though, and that made me sad. In the end, he and I decided that we were going to bring 2 lists from now on, get better at list-selection.

Unfortunately that game was cancelled: I was violently ill and couldn’t make it out to the game store until Thursday, when I met up with some friends of mine at the shop in Bel Air. I was trying very hard to get two games in that day, and I may have pushed my luck a little far, as the first game intruded on the start time of the second much deeper than I would have liked, which made the end of the second game hurry-hurry itself. Next time, I do only one game.

First game of the night was against a the newly minted Cephalyx ‘Caster, Cyphon. I lent him both the models and the list, so it was based on the Cephalyx Army i built over the course of months of testing, just swapping out the caster and adding a Machine Wraith to cover the extra point.

The list was:

Cyphon
-Wrecker
-Wrecker
-Warden
Overlords
Agitator x3
Machine Wraith x3
Pistol Wraith x2
Mind Benders (max)
Mind Slaver (max)
Tactical Arcanist Corps
-Dominator

I knew my second game was going to be against a friend of mine who plays the Protectorate, and has a huge love of both colossals and Feora 2. I knew, almost exactly, what was coming, due to the battle report against him last week.

Feora, Protector of the Flame
– Revelator  [Bonded]
– Reckoner
– Hand of Judgment
Choir of Menoth
Holy Zealots
– Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer
Reclaimer
The Wrack
Vassal Mechanik
Vassal of Menoth
Epic Eyriss

If  you’re astute, you’ll have noticed what I noticed when I was thinking about the list I had conceived and how it was going to play out. All week, there was this sense of terror and foreboding as to how I was going to actually win these games using Barnabus:

Skarre + Incorp or Denny + Incorp will wreck everything I have, as the only Magical Weapons carried by the army are Barnabus’ Axe, Flesh Eater the spell, and the Gatorman Witch Doctors sacrificial Strike.

Cyphon Cannot be knocked down, and has both shield guard and sacrificial pawn to help him live through a withering barrage of Flaming Darts, bu I’ll have to be hitting him at his full def. 13 because he cannot be knocked down. Now, its not a stellar defense, but it is enough to make about 45% of the attacks miss, which’ll keep him alive.

Epic Feora is immune to fire, which is extremely good for making sure she survives against the ‘Raiders. Compound that with the Choirs Warding and the Hand of Judgments Immunity to Fire, and I have a caster that I’m not sure I can assassinate. Mostly, though, It was the Revelator, who I was unable to take off the the board without committing Barnabus, I wasn’t really looking forward to eating that one to the face.

though each game ended almost how I would have predicted it, the whole experience gave me a chance to sit down and dissect the army and how it works. Sadly, I don’t really know what that gained me in the end, as I feel that the inability of Barnabus to mitigate armor or wounds really created a situation where I was desperate from start to finish of both games.

There is a lot yet to figure out with the raiders, and I am pretty sure I am going to be taking them for another spin around the block tomorrow. We will see how that all pans out and whether or not Barnabus can fair any better.

 

Holy Jesus.

The amazing and astounding things coming out of, and around, and even near E3 this year are beyond my wildest Dreams. Every expectation that I could have had, if I had ever paid attention to E3 before, were completely blown away. I have gone from lamenting that I had a video game system at all to being overjoyed that I managed to pick one up last year. I have re-joined the Inquisition in full force, and am stoked to get to the end and move on to the next game, something I’ve not had in years.

I’m just going to run through the list by enthusiasm level. While It is not representative of when I heard the list, it is very representative of how gleeful I am at each release.

Continue reading

Now, I am finally back and into the swing of things again, writing about warmachine on Tuesdays and Miscellaneous topics on Thursdays. This weeks Thursday post is going to be particularly packed, with the bevy of information coming out of E3 this week about a pile of my favorite video games.

Lock and Load

I had such an amazing time at Lock and Load! Every day of the convention was a blast, and I was able to meet up with old friends and get games in with people across the country and around the world. I was also lucky enough to hang out with a number of people that I only get to see at LnL, and it was a blast to catch up with all of them.

Thursday

The PG invitational was Thursday, and true to form, I broke out Rasheth with his Titans. However, I was pretty foolhardy and put him through the ringer: I jumped into a pod of Spelldrafters. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to play the game at 35 points, and I just wan’t prepared for the task.

My 35 point list that I played throughout the Con is as Follows.

Rasheth
-Cannoneer
-Bronzeback
-Bronzeback
-Gladiator
-Paingivers (x6)
-Agonizer
-Farrow Bone Grinders (x4)

This list ended up needing a ton of help in spelldraft, and I just didn’t get it. With animus and spells all going away, I had slow, pathfinderless Titans that were just as quick as Rasheth himself. Unable to lead from the rear, he was instead on the front lines. From there, he was quickly ejected by Abby 2, Severious 1 and Haley 2.

Abby 2 was a simple game of Shrednado, where he launched extremely long threat range Shredder at the Dominar to devour him on the top of turn 2.

Stupid 17″ Threat Shredders!

Severious 1 was a rough game of back and forth with me trying to get a bead on Blessing of Vengeance, and him raining Arcane bolts into Rasheths plentiful head until he dropped of exhaustion

See that forest on the Left. Blessing of Vengeance did…

Haley 2 is a game I really, really enjoyed. While the other two were extremely fun as well, this one gave me a taste of what it is going to be to have to face Haley 3, as I was constantly having to try and get rid of Storm Lances that were being revived. Though Both Bronzebacks survived rounds against the Stormwall, it just wasn’t enough and I ate three charged to the face from Stormlances, and called it a day.

I ended up playing one 50 pointer that day, against Judge Prime, Boots himself. He’d warned me the night before that he had a ton of fun killing Hordes ‘Casters with Thrown Grievous Wounds attacks from Madrak 2. As it turns out, there is no difference with the weapon that Madrak 1 has, and I should have seen it coming. A single Grievous Wounds  toss followed by Crusher, and Mulg was able to drop the Rasheth in a single swing.

For those keeping score, that is 0 wins over the course of the day. Its been a long, long time since that happened.

Friday

I pulled an idiot stunt and somehow managed to sign up to Judge both Masters events Friday, running from 10:00am to 12:00am. It was a brutal slog, though fun, that was extremely exhausting. Me being me, however, I compounded stupid on stupid and decided that yes, I wanted to do the Team Tournament right after the second masters ended. Another 35 point series of games that I really wasn’t prepared to play in, that I teamed up with some random people and decided to give it a go.

I did better in this one than I did in spelldraft, which is good, leading me to believe it was less that 35 points sucks, and more that Rasheth needs his whole toolkit to be good.

I played four games, and the tournament took just over 7 hours. I stuck it out to the bitter end and played Rasheth in all but the one game required of me, Taking games from Goreshade 3, Makeda 2 and Vyros 2, while loosing a giant uphill slog against Asphyxious 3.

I started out against Gorshade 3, who I initially thought was a terrible draw for me. However, my opponent hadn’t ever played him before, so I had the upper hand in what I assumed he would do. The game ended with a Bronzeback surviving a fully loaded Desecrator and 5 attacks from a charging Goreshade. Shaking off the Stationary and healing two points later, I was able to put the Eldritch in the dirt, again, with boxcars.

Goreshade 3 Just couldn’t get it done.

 

My next match was against Cryx, again, and I should have known better. When Asphyxious 3 is in the lineup, don’t go beast heavy. Sadly, I didn’t even think about it, being late as it was, and dropped into one of the worst matchups possible. With almost no feat and little to protect Rasheth from a post-feat Asphyxious, I was unable to stem the tide against an incursion win.

 

Next, I took on Alex Smith, an opponent and all around good man I had played against two years earlier in the Masters. Last time we both had Cryx on the board, this time we both had Skorne. And, much like last time, it was a damned slog. Makeda 2 with Karn isn’t the most comforting thing to see across the table. I tossed down Fist because I thought I could out-grind it, and I was mostly correct. Karn whittled the army down while staying safe and all I could do was push forward. In the end, it wasn’t enough, and with one box left after rolling damage, Karn forced for an extra damage die and took me out…. But! I’d forgotten about the feat! I had 7 hp, not 1! Neither of us had moved models, so we just continued playing, with Alex leading off. He rolled another attack with Karn, instead of boosting, and missed, leaving me with just enough. Somehow, I was able to claw my way back to victory, and beat Makeda to death after dealing with Karn and surviving another assassination run by Makeda herself.

My final Game was against a gentleman playing Vyros 2, who, thanks to two local guys, I am very familiar with. I picked up Rasheth again and was able to put Vyros in awkward positions with Bronzebacks counter-charging feat-move Griffons and other nasty shenanigans. I was able to make some cool moves in one zone to try and clear it with a trample, Slam and Throw, but the Titan Cannoneer missed the boosted slam into Imperatus and called it a day.  In the end, however, I was able to maneuver a Bronzeback into Vyros, because he had to commit to a zone, and punching him down to size.

We didn’t come in last place, and played to the bitter end, so I take that a win. Our team name, Friends, was completely unoriginal, but we were too tired to actually get anything useful. However, our first opponent was “Off Constantly” so I had to report to the judges that “Friends Beat Off Constantly.”

Saturday

After a quick nap from 7:00 – 12:00 I was back up and at it! I was determined to play more 50 pointers, and I got off to a good start. I was discussing the desire to play 50 point games with another PG, and the guy behind me stopped and asked if I wanted to get a game in.

Of course I did! So, we picked a table and threw down! He brought out Ossrum, Earthbreaker and Company, playing a Searforge list, and I dropped… 6 titans. This game was something I thought I would be able to do a good job in, but I somehow forgot that an earthbreaker and just a little support can bring down a bronzeback in a single go. After running two bronzebacks pel-mel at the damned thing, he straight up removed one from the board on the top of turn 2. Seeing what folly it would be if I were to maintain the course, I switched over to scenario and ran my Bronzeback fully across the board to join my army again.

Formation AFTER running stupidly at the Earthbreaker

I was able to slow-grind him out, feeding the Earthbreaker his choice of Titans each turn, but otherwise keeping him occupied. I managed to get a Bronzeback into his Forgeguard, blowing most of them away, and a nicely placed BoC popped about 6 Highshields. Between the two, I was able to turn the game in my favor and forced a Bronzeback onto Ossrum for the MAT 9 Carnivore Kill. Victory #1 of the day!

after the first game, there was someone camping one of the scenario tables, the one from NQ 60 with the water tower and the Cactus Patches. He had a sign up for a game, and I dropped down to play him.

This guy was pumped to play this game!

The Scenario was a defenders-game, and he was on the attackers side. Rasheth and his 6 Titans has to hold the line. If, by the end of the 7th turn he had not assassinated me or made me flee from the Water Tower, I won. I had to survive 7 rounds against whatever he had hidden in his bag. Axis, Tier 4. The waves of Recursion against the wall of Titanflesh! It was an epic battle, with waves of infantry crashing into my lines, killing titans while I retaliated with as much death as possible. I did, however, make judicious attacks whenever possible, fueling only what foundries I was forced to and not making extra attacks just because I could. It was a knifes edge to tread, but I did it well enough and long enough to make the end 7 rounds with only Rasheth and a Bronzeback left when the Skorne Reinforcements showed up and secured my victory!

After those two games and some dinner, I played the final game of the night against a pair of friends from out here in Baltimore that have moved to Seattle. We played a 35 point Team Mosh pit and it was completely insane. His TEP Put a hurting on Her Circle, and I put a hurt on his Convergence. My Titans got beat up by the circle. In the end, being around 3:00am, she finished him off, and I was able to take her out of the zone and win the game. 3-0 for the day wasn’t to shabby!

Sunday

So, Sunday was a lazy day of me getting games in and then heading out to an awesome local PG’s house to crash and head home Monday, the first of which was against a fellow who was trying out Goreshade 3. He plopped down a very dangerous list, with the Kraken, Soulhunters and Blackbanes leading the charge for Goreshade 3. Sadly, at the top of turn 2 in a killbox game, he had to go for it, as he realized that he was never going to be able to push through all of the titans and get to Rasheth safely.

This was the board state when I knew something went wrong.

 

Instead he put it all on the line, and with Goreshade simply inches from a pile of frozen titans, piled it all into Rasheth. He survived the volley of Siphon Bolts only to be dropped in short order by the Krakens Main Gun, the last possible weapon in the army that could fire, with the smaller gun on the Colossal about an inch out. First loss of the day.

 

My second Loss of this tragic day was handed to my by the new Ret Caster, Thyron. With Hyperion and Imperatus, I just had to much beef to chew through, but on his terms. He was faster, more aggressive and had the upper hand with reach weapon masters. I wasn’t able to, after a number of tries with a number of Titans, to take down either Hyperion OR Imperatus, and it was just the end of the game once he got Hyperion to Rasheth.

This is right before I lost three titans: Bronzeback, Sentry and Gladiator

 

The final game of the day, of the weekend, and of the con, for me, was by far my favorite. I had the privilege and honor to have my ass kicked by Michael Plummer using the brand spanking new Haley 3, on the Livestream for all to see. It was Glorious!  However, instead of regaling you with the tales, I can let you go watch yourself. It was a close and fantastic game, and I loved being able to end the convention and the day on such a high note!

I love Lock and Load, and I cannot wait to go back again!

 

 

 

 

 

It is done.

Well, almost. I am waiting on a little information from a friend who’s PC became, in my very first campaign, a god in his own right, stealing it from the main villain. Until i’m provided with the information relevant to creating that god in a manner both pleasing to me and to the player, I’m going to forge on ahead, diving a little deeper into the character, function, form and personality of each of the gods and accursed.

First, though, the Index of Gods. 

There are a few changes I’ve made here to the initial entries of some of the gods and accursed, and their are bound to be even more. What I’ve done is create the skeleton, the character sheet, if you will, of each. Now, what I desire to do is go back through and scour each of them. I want to correct errors, move entries to where they are more appropriate, and maybe even cull portfolios all together. There are a number of concepts, both initial and detailed, that may have been either overlooked or overdone in the first pass that really need a fresh look after the pressure of creating, detailing and formulating all 33 entities in the Pantheon. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Death – There seem to be an overabundance of deities that deal with death, but in minor and subtle ways.
  • Elemental Family – Each being belongs to an elemental family
  • North v. South. I have a concept where the Paltonarchs are represented by more northern animals, and the Accursed by more tropical. I want to look in and flesh this one out.
  • Interactions among members of the “court” – I didn’t have a place or concept about the interactions.

Many of these are, again, first or second passes that I am fleshing out even deeper and with greater accuracy. Where what I have done to date with this was to create the character sheet, I’m now looking to put more flesh and bones around it, the background, if you will. Hopefully, this endeavor will take much less time and I will be able to do multiple per week, with a goal of four each Monday, especially with GOT off air now.

Next week, I’ll start up in earnest.

LNL

 

The time is here! Wednesday I will be leaving to head out to Lock and Load, enjoying my one convention I get to go to and play each year.

I’ve not packed, as of yet, so once I’m done writing this, that’s exactly what I am going to do. I am extremely excited to go out there, see old friends and make new ones.

Well, maybe not make any. I’m not sure the Titan Train makes friends.

This does mean, however, that this post isn’t going to be a proper one, and I’m definitively not writing one for Thursday. I’ll Still be in Seattle on Sunday and flying back Monday, so the first real post I’m going to have is next Thursday. While there is a strong likelihood I’ll be gushing about LnL, there is also a significant chance I’ll have done all that I can for a number of days, and I’ll talk about something cool.

Like the Announcement of XCOM2, which has me frothing at the mouth. There may be other announcements and such, but we will see how well I keep up with them.

In addition to a wrap up post, I’ll be Tweeting all weekend about my wins, losses and the players I meet and hang out with, as well as any spoilers I come across.I’ll be trying to snatch up a book as soon as possible, and posting contents, spoilers and other awesomeness. Last year was a little lite, I am going to try and get a few more this time around.

Additionally, Some may have noticed that I am short a Mythology Monday post for the final God, Drakken. Getting players input on their character-turned god is something I want to get right, so we’ll see about that once I get back.

Alright, so, its short and sweet, but I’m excited to get out there, and in order to leave, I’ve got to pack, so I’m out!