Last night I got to draft M:14. This was enjoyable because I ended up with slivers, again. This is not uncommon for me, but seems to be hard for others to do.

Its a deck that I really like, and once you see it start to pull together can be really satisfying. Grabbing the Galerider sliver first, and much later a Door of Destines really helped the deck out. And once I started cutting people out, I saw the blur sliver, the Hive Stirrings, and the Sliver Construct all table.
I was confident, but I knew things could get in my way.

Through late first pack and most of pack two, though, I was convinced that I wasn’t going to make it function. I’d started doing blue/green for a minute, and even ended up with a serra angel later on. Now I was probably doing green-white, and the green was astoundingly good coming through. Then the green dropped off, and I was left with some good Red.
I was going Naya no matter what, and it just happened that slivers came around pack 3 and made the deck into what I felt would be decent.

It was something like this:

Creatures:
Galerider Sliver
Striking Sliver
Sentinal Sliver
Manaweft Sliver
Predatory Sliver x2
Blur Sliver
Serra Angle

Spells
Lay of the Land x2
Hive Stirrings x3
Verdant Haven
Hunt the Weak x2
Chandra’s outrage
Lava axe x3

Artifacts
Door of Destinies
Sliver Construct x2

I was all set to play some games! it was going to be nothing but slivers and face-beats!
However, we had a 9 man pod of players, and I end up with a first round bye. I’m not a fan of them, even though they come with a win, and it can be really disappointing to not be able to play.
So, I went got a soda, and came back to play some more.
Round 2 I get paired up against the guy who walked in late, giving me a bye, and making us even numbers.
I give him some crap about it, and we carry on. I take him down with some very aggressive draws 2-0, though his mill deck takes out most of my good stuff fairly quick. At this point, I take in the tournament standings, and there are only 2 people who are undefeated. The protocol in MTG is to draw the last round if no one can catch you. Each player ends up splitting the prizes equally instead of one of the players risking being bumped to 3rd. So, the two of us Draw, and we take 1’st and 2nd.
I’ll just go here and say I got 2nd, because really, I can’t fathom that I would come in first after playing only two games and one match.

it boggles my poor mind. I picked up 7 packs, and I stored them for when Theros comes out, and was glad to do so, as the current set of cards just aren’t my cup of tea.

I don’t know about you, but getting second after all that feels just a little more bad than it should.

-Tio

Galerider sliver from James Zapata @ http://jameszapata.deviantart.com/art

This weekend was chock full of awesome gaming.

As I mentioned yesterday, I managed to beat Haven, and I’ve started Sanctuary in Heroes of Might and Magic VI.

This new campaign is full of terrible racist steyotypes and is poorly voiced with Asian accents that are just awful. 1930’s cringe worthy awful I can’t believe as I listen to it, that this actually made it past the publishers.

The creatures are cool, being a bunch of Asian mythology inspired themes like Frog-spirits, Sharks-at-Arms, Naga-warriors, and Naga Lightning Mages. The music is very oriental-inspired as well, and makes for a good dissonance with the rest of the levels I’ve been through. I’ve yet to make it deep, as I saved once I found my very first town, but I should dig a little deeper into the campaign tonight and see what happens.

Sunday, I made it over to a friends house to help him practice for a set of tournaments coming up. He’s a great player. He asked for Cryx specifically, so I game him the best we got.
Epic Asphyxious.

Here is the list:
Lich Lord Asphyxious
-Nightwretch x2

Bane Thralls x10
-Bane Thrall UA
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
-Blood Witch UA
Bile Thralls x10
Bane Knights x10

Saxon Orrik
Warwitch Siren x2
Bane Lord Tartarus
Necrotech and Scrap Thrall

Artificer General Nemo (3) got the best of me for two rounds, killing almost 50 models in one turn of shooting. He made a single (and I mean just one) mistake that cost him the game: not laying covering fire at his feet to prevent the bane thralls from charging stormwall. Parasite + 5 bane thralls later, stormwall is in the dirt, and my feating bane knights are free to take down the Thunderhead with two more popping the objective. I dominate one zone, control the other, and break an objective all in one turn: 4 points. If I get one more on his turn I win, so he goes for the assassination. He leaves me with two boxes. Its less disappointing than it seems for him, as hot rolls balanced cold, and it seemed about right. Doing 18 damage at dice -6 (even boosted) from 3 attack is 3 points off of average.

With the failed assassination run, he contests both zones, and has to hope for my banes to fail, which they thankfully did not. Victory Epic Asphyxious!

I’ve never played a betrayal game before yesterday, and it seems to me I was missing out on huge fun. I really need to get my group of friends to play a few of these.
Yesterday, I played Battlestar Galactica. In it there are about 7 ways to lose, and only one to win. The humans are pretty screwed. and its completely awesome.
Basically, the games goes as follows:
Players are handed, at the start of the game, a character and a loyalty card.
The character card has three abilities and three stats. The stats determine the type of cards that characters can draw. The loyalty cards have two phrases: You are not a Cylon, and You are a Cylon.
Key: Only half the Cylon/not Cylon deck is dealt out at the start of the game. Meaning that there is a distinct possibility that there are no Cylons to start the game.
Each player takes a turn, wandering about the Battlestar and the colony ship, and at the end of each turn a crisis happens. Most times, this is an event. Sometimes its a Cylon Attack featuring Giant Basestar’s, Raiders, and boarding parties.
The events each have a target number, and define what cards are used to succeed, and what are used to penalize. each player then contributes, in secret, any number of cards to the pot, that is then shuffled and totaled. If the success cards outnumber the failure cards, the crisis is averted, most of the time with no gain. If the crisis is failed, bad things happen, and one of the 7 ways to die ticks down. Cylons try to subtly bait out failures and humans try to succeed at these impossible tasks.
Its very hard for the Humans to win.

Both games went to the Cylons, with me dealing the deathblow as I revealed from the Shadows to end the game on game one, and then the two Cylons revealing themselves back to back and summoning a huge death fleet to destroy us as we tried to power up our FTL engine to make our final jump. We almost had it!

-Tio

Its been a quiet couple days, at least for Nerding.

It took me three more days to beat Haven in Heroes VI. It was a grinding and brutal affair that forced me to restart the map at least three times before I got the hang of it and took the map. It wasn’t easy. There is a group above ground and a group below ground that you have to defeat. Each group had its own way to come at me from angles that I couldn’t stop, and it forced me to make a very difficult decision: sacrifice the upper world. I went underground, and took the whole map down there, while there was only one way in and one way out. I left every town and fort above ground abandoned, and they were all eventually captured. However, the sacrifice allowed me to gain enough ground, and create an unassailable underground base from which to strike. I eventually took back everything I had lost above ground, which allowed enough production to assault and destroy the final boss. I was pleased with the overall decision. Haven was a grind, and I am glad its behind me. Now I’ll grab on to sanctuary.
Reminds me that I didn’t go over the Necropolis Campaign. I should get to that.

Thursday was football night for my poor Ravens. What a shellacking. Well, that’s what the 5th Preseason game is for.

More spoilers for Theros popped up, and its looking better and better. Its hard not to appeal to a person what loves Greek mythology, though. Augers, Oracles, Minotaurs, Gorgons and Hydras: Whats not to like!

Malifaux 2e Beta Test Part 2 can’t come fast enough. I’ve a great desire to see what Abuela, the Pistoleros, and the Pale Rider all can do in this new edition. I also want some more options to play, looking at Zorida and McMourning. Zorida as a theme I liked back in 1.5, and McMourning as a model that can run a pretty neat guild grew.

Finally, I got my Croak Hunter from Sweden! He came with some delicious candy, as well. Maybe I’ll get back to painting here shortly, It’d be a nice break. Its so nice outside, too. Good time to primer some models while the humidity is about 0%. Speaking of which…

I’m gonna prime some models, and then get some Warmachine games in. I’ll probably deconstruct them tomorrow.

-Tio

IKRPG time!

Every Wednesday will be an update on the intrepid characters making their way through Leryn.

After the fight with the buffalo, we were confronted and asked to place our gear at the feet of a set of guardsmen. We did but we were all concered for the Crazy man with a Sharpened Door behind us, and waited for him to put away his weapon.
Noticing that Sodaving, the mad behind the problems in Leryn and the the provider of all the festivities, was missing, Jerek/Hogan decided there was something afoot. But what could be done. I played a ham to the crowd, but had little to go off of.
We eventually, after causing a lot of uproar among a crowd who seemed to be supportive of our group and cause, left the arena and went back to the cages he had for us.

Being locked in a cage with a doomreaver was intimidating. With his gibbering greatsword chained to his wrist, he was a severe danger to me.

So I started a conversation.
The details are fuzzy, but I do believe that the gist of the conversation ended with the the conclusion that because we killed things with him, we were his friends. And you don’t kill your friends.
Now, we’ve a doomreaver on our side! YES!

After that, The populace lined up and were allowed to talk to the captors, and many of them expressed interest in helping free Leryn from Sodaving, but something was terribly wrong. Sodaving was allowing it. He was egging me on.
He was planning something.
It took a bit of talking out, but Jerek thinks he’s got the plan hashed out.
Sodaving is going to use me to take down the resistance all at once. When the time comes, he is going to break me, and destroy the resistance with one fell blow.
And I don’t know when or how.
———————————————————————————————————————————
It was a light evening of Roleplay, but it was a good, deep one. I’ve only got a few more before the baby comes, so I want to make the most of it!

Man.
While it was brutally exhausting, I’ve not had a more enjoyable convention experience than this weekends NOVA Open.
So many tournaments were played, friends seen, and rulings made.
On a judging note: I don’t think I made a single incorrect call. HA! that feels good!

The weekend started on Friday, with a trip down to DC from North Baltimore County that took 2.5 hours, in traffic, in 90 degree heat, in my wrangler. Blech. I got to the Convention in order to start judging round 2 of the Team Tournament. That ran until 2 AM, but was a blast to oversee, with names such as Pants Off Dance off, Struggle Snuggle, and BBD. I had no horse in any race, but It was fantastic to see all 36 people going at it.
Got 4 hours of sleep and back at it, with the Who’s the Boss tournament in the morning, with hilarious matchups like Xerxis of Everblight, Absolonyia of Everblight, and Orsus Zoktavir – Butcher of Ios! I followed that up with a short lunch, and then right back at it for the featured open tournament of the con: Hardcore.

7 minute timed turns.
Fully Painted armies.
50 points.
70 minute total round timer.

Because it was fully painted, it was a stunning show of almost every army out there. I tool pictures every round, and they are located here if you have any interest in peeking at them. They are Phone pics, but if I am going to do this, I will most likely get an actual camera here soon.

With Hardcore over after 5 rounds at 2:00 am, it was back to bed, and then up and out by 7 to get coffee and start the Masters tournament. Each tournament had a number of top spots that qualified for the honor of the Masters in the morning. With no drops – A first ever in my experience – the tournament got underway at 9:00 with a big guns, badass lists, and to my surprise, an abundance of my faction: Cryx, who went on to do very well, getting all three top spots of the day.

It was a fantastic experince and I’m glad to be giving my con season a send off like that! I’ll be back in the saddle again about NOVA next year, once my daughter hits about 10 months.

Get NOVA Open results here

Malifaux: You finally got it right.

I played a game last night that was brutal, fun, in flavor and a fantastic experience. Nino and an Austringer got murdered by a Steamborg Executioner, Francisco got popped by a tiny-spider swarm, and Perdita, in my moment of mental weakness, got hacked in half by Joss.

But it was fun, and that was something I’d all but given up on before the 2e was announced. Now, I’ll admit that I am still very wary of Wyrds balance issues. Their history gives me pause, and until they come out with an original book, unavailable to a public playtest, that is actually balanced, I’m not going to be convinced they aren’t their own worst enemy. For right now, however, I am going to enjoy the hell out of their game. It feels balanced and fun, its got a back and forth that enables some really cool plays, and I’ll enjoy it while that lasts. I viciously, bitterly, intensely loathed the 1st edition of the game. It was horribly unbalanced; it was busted, it was, no lie, the worst game I’ve ever played. I fully understand why,supposedly, the new core rules book has sold more copied than every other rule book they ever made, because the game is a ton of fun now.

the best change they made, and the part of the game that truly enables fun, dynamic play, it is the scheme/scenario focus. Flipping for shared scheme, and then determining five scenarios (suit + number for two cards, and then Line in the Sand) of which you choose two is a really good method for enabling dynamism.. It allows you to play to your crews strengths and allows you to play of opponents possible weaknesses. the game is truly scenario focused, and it really benefits from it.

Upgrades are a concept I am still getting used to. I brought about 8 points worth of upgrades, and I think I got the most out of all of them… Except Nino. He got ate by a cyborg crab person on turn 2. He… He was not cool with that, and he didn’t get to use his upgrade. It is kinda contradictory, as well. Focusing gives him a 36″ range (double his 18″ normal range) rapid fire gives him 3 shots, but they both use up his whole set of AP. I will still debate this internally for a while, but I think its one I can easily drop. and having to balance the Upgrades, Soulstone Cache, and actual model count is an intriguing, strange thing. I believe I enjoy it.

This game, Its going to be a ton of fun if Wyrd doesn’t smash themselves in the face.

Ok, enough raving. Here’s what happened:

I brought a Crew of Spanish Demon-killer Gunsligers (The Ortega Family) – Perdiata, Nino, Papa Loco, Fancisco, Santiago, Perditats Totem an ensalved Nephalim, and a Guild Austinger.

My opponent brought a Cyborg Electromage and his entourage of Mineworkers and Steamfiters Union buddies – Ramos, Joss, Johan, Steamborg Executioner, a Pair of Electrospiders and a Brass electrospider.

We end up flipping a scheme for claiming table quarters: Pretty Standard. The key is, if you’re within 6″ of the Center point, you don’t count! Neat little twist on it.

We ended up flipping the folowing schemes:
Entourage: Get a Master or Henchman either to the enemys half of the board (1) or their Deployment (2)
Breakthrough: Put Scheme Markers within 6″ of their deployment zone
Spring the Trap: Place Markers within 4″ of the master, then reveal to gain that many points (up to 3)
The final one I don’t remeber. It wsan’t picked by either of us.
Line In the Sand is always available: Drop Scheme Markers along the center line
My buddy revealed Entourage (Ramos) and Line in the Sand. I didn’t reaveal anything, because I’m trying to feel out the crew, and didn’t want anything interfering with my learning process, and having the opposing crew try and directly interfere would have probably done that.

Perdita’s crew involves a ton of movement. Perdita can move up to 8″, Santiago can drag a friend 5″, the Totem can move one model 8″, and then use obey for another standard move. its a crew that does a ton of moving, a ton of shooting, and ferocious re-positioning. It was cool to use and see how it works.

The opponent had a crew that was brutally effective in combat. An axe wielding construct, a Giant cyborg-spider person with claws that literally clipped poor Ninos head off, and spider creatures that can join into a giant spider swarm that ate Francisco.

I ended up calling it at 11pm, tired and broken. He’d managed to swing the game to a point where I’d no longer be able to catch up on VP’s, and he held two table quarters for three turns, and had gotten Ramos into my DZ. I’d managed to attempt both of my schemes, but Perdita getting killed stalled that chance completely out. I dropped three tokens near his deployment, and I only needed to keep Perdita safe for one more turn, I stepped to close to Joss, and he tore me apart. The gamed ended at 6-3, but if the last turn had been played it would have been much less close.

Its a good day to own Malifaux. If you don’t know anything about it, check out Wyrds Website.

-Tio

The majority of the evening last night was spent Futzing around on various forums, solving a few puzzles of my own. Now that its done, though, there should be more time to nerd. A number of things popped up, that due to the way time flows linearly, I’ve not gotten to yet. I’ll address them soon enough, but here’s the short list.

Continue reading

Privateer Press Responds to Plastic Quality

This was something that impressed me, both from a community standpoint and from a company standpoint.

The problems with the plastics that PP has chosen to use have been causing gripes for some time. It was noticable in the live community, and has a really vocal component in the online forums. It has been harder and harder to blow the concern off, especially in person. Problems fitting and mold lines in places that make it hard to model are just a few of the legitimate problems that I’ve heard vented by my community just here in MD.

I’ve never really experienced the problems myself to be honest. But the problem is much to large to be ignored. This weekend, it came to a head

The thread is here

Its a long, civil discussion, 7 pages and counting, about the problems with the plastics. I was impressed with the levelheadedness of many of the posters when I perused it, but I figured that it’d just be another lost topic after a few bad seeds stepped in and ruined it for everyone. surprisingly, it never happened, and it continued through the weekend as a civil, polite discussion. I still considered that there would be no official response.

Then, yesterday, there was this

PP responds via Simon Berman, the Community Manager. The response is a little canned-sounding, but that is kinda the cost of working with a company. However, they responded with a concern for their customers, to a thread that was criticizing their product, on their own forum. Good for them!
They also didn’t lock it, which is doublegood.

As I said, I’m impressed. Glad to wear the black for em!

-Tio.

The Story So Far!

Now that you’re caught up!
Our intrepid Hero is trapped with his companions in the Hands of Sodaving, Khadoran Occupational ruler of a Llaeles city! What ever are they to do?!

Turns out, they are to fight in the arena for Sodaving’s perverse pleasure, and the pleasure of the crowd. Where three days ago the fight against Bog Trogs and Gatormen took them to the brink of their limits, this time they took on a pair of giant bison-creatures and a couple swarms of rats. It was not to bad, but the bison were big.

Jerek of Jhord um…ehm… Hogan of Llaele…

The best moment of the night was definitely tossing a cinder bomb at a bison who’s engaged with our resident ‘Jack Marshal/Military Officer. Hitting easily (RAT 8 is no slouch, especially at 25 xp!) I proceeded to do no damage (1,1) to the Bison but neatly pop 9 (6,5) onto Sor, the Trollkin engaging it and my ally. Next time I started dropping bombs onto my teammates I switched over to the standard Explosive Grenades!

It was a quick good night!

Now, to get my 27xp Reward: 2 occupational Skills. I’m most likely taking Forgery (+1) and Climb (+1) because YES!

-Tio