A few weeks ago, as I was trying to place an order for my KR Multicase, I put up a review/Guide as to how to use their product. Mostly, It went over how I expected to use their foam, but I had no foam on hand to showcase what can be done with it.

Days afterward, I received the shipment, and spent quite a bit of additional time putting it all together. Now, in stunning full color for the very first time, I give to you the glory that is Cryx – KR Kaiser 3.

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This one is gonna be short. I’ve got fallout on the brain, but I still want to keep putting posts out there, keeping up with Warmachine, D&D and whatever else I’ve been up to. Recently, its just been the two and a little bit of painting, but Fallout has co-opted that, ruining my Iron Man streak of painting a Warcaster every month for the whole year. Sacrifices were made!

In Warmachine I’ve been examining my Skorne lists, pulling up Hexy 2 and In D&D I’ve been working on killing my players. Well, not actively killing, but making sure they know who’s boss.

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Contents
  1. Marathon

2015-08-16_00069Marathon

Marathon mode is the real deal. It displays a contempt at your enjoyment and a brutal dismissal of everything resembling kindess the game has to offer in such a a stunning way that I don’t think I’m every going to consider playing the game in any other mode. While I think the Long War Mode might take the game a little too far, this option really hits it on the head. It is, in a single word, all that XCOM and its series represents – Unforgiving.

And I’m enjoying every moment of it.

Of course, spoilers beyond, though I assume you know that, as I walk through the options I choose for my Marathon GameContinue reading

Makeada

Transfer of Power

I have yet to play enough games to really judge the power of Zaal, Ancestral Advocate, but I think I am starting to unlock him just a little bit. One of the most fun parts of both of Privateer Presses games, at least for me, is acclimating a new Warcaster or Warlock. I like putting each one on the table and seeing how they interact with the game what they do both for me mentally, and what they provide for the models on the board. I also enjoy the pains that they put my opponent through. Watching when and how an opponent reacts to how you’re playing the game and what your abilities are can in a general sense give you insight into how future opponents will react. All of those points, when added together, can give a really solid sense of how a ‘Caster is going to mesh with your style, your faction, and your temperament.

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Good Afternoon, and a tired one it will still be.

Over the past weekend, I had the honor and privilege to adjudicate and assist in running the East Coast Rumble in Clark NJ. It was a complete blast, and I was glad I stayed for every match.

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Man, I love RPGs, and 5th edition D&D is exactly what I want from an RPG, but didn’t know how to say it. Its got imbalance, it has player and DM Authority, it has nostalgic wonderous items, and it has tables and tables of stuff. If I don’t want to make a decision on something, there exists a table, I am sure, that can make the decision for me, and If I’ve made a decision on something, it seems that there is nothing stopping me from being the 100% authority on the subject, either.  I absolutely love 5th edition.

I’ve written about my steadily growing love affair with 5th edition before, but I know it now: This one is perfect for me. This is the edition that I thought we were going to get when D&D 3.0 was announced, and though its taken almost 15 years to show up and a huge disaster in between, I am happy its here.

D&D 5 has brought back a number of the staples that I enjoyed about the 2e that I didn’t even know I had missed. And imbalanced balancing one that, though I understood what it meant, I thought it needed to be sacrificed at the alter of perfect balance. See, when I started playing RPGs, I was drawn to the myriad of choices that existed in the world I was going to play in, and I could be any one of them. Death Priest, Bladesinger, Beastmaster. There were a hundred supplements with a hundred more options lurking around every corner. And each one, I would look at and take in on its merits as it represented the concept it was putting forward. Was the Bladesinger swift, deadly and vicious? Was the Sage smart and old, with unknowable depths of information? Was the Urban Ranger really Batman? The disparity between useful additions and worthless ones were a combination of being unfaithful to the concept and being unable to contribute to the parties goals. In 2e, though, this didn’t always mean combat, though there were plenty of rules for making sure that every, to a degree, could fight. There were obviously stronger options if you were a combat-character, but there was such a concept as a non-combat character. This idea of a character being exactly what they were supposed to be, instead of what the game wanted you to be, was something that I’d not grasped onto. When I lost the majority of those options in 3.0/3.5, I was not disappointed. A character could do whatever they wanted outside of combat, within the DM’s discretion, what they did in combat, when their life was on the line, was what really needed arbitration.

Now, coming back, I feel that I better appreciate the inherent imbalance in the classes. A great wizard is an immensely powerful and world shaping force, and should reflect that. A fighter, someone who places value and importance on his abilities to chop down his foes will probably be at a disadvantage when facing a person capable of tearing the very fabric of the world apart and bending it to his will. With all the balance and changes in the D&D game throughout 3rd and 4th edition, one character overshadowing the others has never ceased. The problem inherent in an RPG is that the system is there to represent as believable a world in which there are dragons, giants and elves. A world that fantastic and out of sync with ours is destined to have imbalance. For me, If I want a fair and balanced Fantasy game, I can go online and play a videogame. If I want to immerse myself in a fantasy world with my friends and create a story that will last in our memories for a very long time, I am going to pick up an RPG.

There is plenty of truth to the oft-mentioned statement that life isn’t fair. Its true. Neither should an RPG. That, my good friend, is for the DM to decide. The world is created and built upon the DM’s thoughts an ideas, but it should also be tempered by the concepts that the characters have for themselves as well. in 3.5/4 this was bound by the rulebook. There were rules for almost every conceivable thing you could do, and many of them were lengthy and detailed to ensure authenticity. This has been dropped in 5e. Many times all that is given is a vague but descriptive notation of what could happen, setting up the DM to be able to make ad-hoc rulings based on what the surroundings are. While this was always the case, it is easier to comprehend and adapt to when there are no specific rules governing what should happen, and it works both ways.

When a character attempts to run over and plow someone over, they simply say so. Instead of it being labeled (a Bull Rush) and driven by a set of rules based on target and initiator stats, modifiers and bonuses, it is instead a simple thought process by the DM based on the description of what the player wants to do. I have found that, unlike another game by the same company, the concept of restrictions breeding creativity does not hold weight in a fast-paced RPG. Instead, restrictions breed complacency and limit new concepts to within the bounds of the already established rule sets. In the heat of the moment, it is much harder to take a step back and think on the spot than it is to fall into the comfortable embrace of the written rules.

That same comfortable embrace of the rules is what brought us the era of identical magic items. Amulets of Strength with raising bonuses. Swords with abilities and powers that progressed in a formula. Items that have specific uses spelled out specifically in their texts, giving no flavor or style to the item. Each of the items is a specific cost and slated for a specific level and works only in a specific manner. 5e, however, culled tons and tons of magic items, trimming them down to some of the most recognizable throwbacks to 2nd. Gone are the stat boosters and all their iterations. Gone are the custom weapons and their strange mathematical formula to determine how awesome your weapon is. Instead, they have a pretty vague breakdown of the approximate level that the items are appropriate for and a general value of rarity. Common and Uncommon items are appropriate for all levels with Rare items for levels 5+, Very rare for levels 12+ and Legendary items for levels higher than 17. It also specifically calls out that the DM can do whatever he damn well pleases, and if you want to give that Staff of Power to a level 1 character, feel free.

While I enjoyed my time with 3.5, and 4e was a good rebound RPG, I am really in love with the feel and style and the nostalgia of playing the same game I used to play in my high school years, just with a little bit more experience, polish and shine. With only the three Core books, I am ready and willing to play for years on end, writing stories and creating games that my friends and I can enjoy and tell again and again.

I don’t think I’ve had this much fun DMing and RPG in years.

I’m just kinda going to go around the nerd world in a few minutes, there have been a ton of developmens I want to touch on that I’ve not been able to just sit down and rash out into a full post. It’d be perfect for a bite size nerd, If I wasn’t trying to paint every second I possibly could!

Warmachine Developments/Spoilers

Recently, there were released a number of excellent spoilers/previews from the next/last Privateer Press Anthology book.

From the already released Exigence:

The Skorne Aradus model.

Aradus Sentinal from Will Schick

Aradus Sentinal from Will Schick

The Gatorman Sacral Vault

Sacral Vault

The Doom that came to Infantry Armies

I think there is a ton of potential for both of these models to be in my armies. I really wish that I played either Circle or Legion, so that I could use the Sacral vault in that army as well, but thats not happening any time soon.  I really like the look of the Aradus, but the base-to-model ration is, as always, suitably Skorny. The guns it brings are a welcome addition to almost every Skorne army!

The Sacral Vault I am a little less thrilled about because I am gonna have to get a PG to paint that monstrosity up for me, and then trade them a painted model of equal value. Hopefully I can get this done before Lock and Load, where I play my gators.

There were also reveals, releases and spoilers on the jacks for three of the five factions that are going to be getting new character Jacks in the upcoming Reckoning book.

Dynamo, who’s just a monster from hell, was released, Moros was spoiled in the latest No Quarter, and Ruin has their rapid prototype model revealed. Honestly, Ruin determined my second Khadoran caster, and is allowing me to comfortably expand into a two list pair that is extremely cool to theory about. Moros is going to cause me no end of fits, when I play Skorne. For the vast majority of the time, however, I play Cryx, and I won’t need to worry about that little machine from hell. Dynamo is the model I am least enthused about, but that is probably because I don’t want to get shot in the face anymore. I just can’t take it.

Well, I probably can. I’m playing Fist.

Oh, Right. Pictures:

A really cool model, though in ret, so BOO!

A really cool model, though in ret, so BOO!

King Missile

King Missile

THE Khadoran Warjack of the Future.

THE Khadoran Warjack of the Future.

Seriously, look at that thing. He’s wearing a Warpwolf for a cloak!

The Complete Release of Infinity v. 3 or N3

When this initially came out, I was ecstatic, and I think I still am. This game has a ton of potential, and is a very, very well made game. That doesn’t mean its perfectly balanced or an extremely tight ruleset, though is it better than most.

They had originally said that Human Sphere and Campaign: Paradiso were going to be kept as is, but they have since recanted, in their own way. Now, with the release of the edited rules for the expansion books and all my models with new stats and rules again, I can feel the excitement creeping up on me.

Oh, and have I mentioned that all the rules are FREE

What you would need and want to assess the game are:
Basic Rulebook
Troop Profiles
Human Sphere Rules
Paradiso Rules

I really think its a game that most minis gamers will enjoy and find enjoyable, and you should try it out!

Malifaux Avatars

According to this post, Avatars are completely removed from the game of Malifaux. While there are various ways of saying it nicely, they are out. There are rules for using them in a campaign, which is adorable, and there are ways to use them as legal proxies, which I fail to see as a reason to purchase them, but they don’t mean anything. I think its a brave decision, but its even harder on me in the wake of the Infinity Profile Trim. Out of three games I play, only one has never removed a model willfully from the game. While it may be eclipsed by other models, I will always be able to field the models I purchased within the limits of the game. Infinity recently took some of the weapons and options away from certain troop profiles, removing some of my models from the game, and now Malifaux is doing the same. Thankfully, I’d never gotten my Perdita Avatar after the rules made her so derpy I never wanted her.

Going along with that, I understand their decision. Its 30+ models that need to be worked into their new style of game, and I don’t even think its possible, especially when your trying to get player feedback. Certian Players are going to want big, nasty, awesome centerpiece models, while others are going to want the choices of taking or not taking the model to be nearly automatic. I agree with the decision, but I don’t like it.

Conversions and Painting

After the success I had with my Bane Spartans, and the initial rush of the Ninja Nyss, I have expanded further outward with my desire to convert. Its not an overwhelming desire, but I do like the uniqueness it gives my army. The first thing I had decided was that I was going to turn my bane Knights into Samurai. That’s being done by a simple head and weapon swap, and I have actually built them and have em ready to go onto the new bodies when I get them. The second is the Bane Halberdiers. I use Steelhead Halberdiers from time to time in my  Cryx lists so I wanted them to match just a little. In order to accomplish that, I’ve decided to replace their halberd heads with Bane Axe heads and replace the Steelhead Bucket Helmet with Bane Knight heads. After I paint them up and get them matching the color scheme of the Cryx army, they’ll fit right in!

Painting is finally happening on my Skorne force. I’ve joined the Tale of Warmachine and Hordes Painting Group, and I have to paint five points of models every month in order to continue participating. To accomplish the monumental task, I’ve decided that I’m going to paint up the rest of my unpainted Skorne warlocks, and get using them on the table. First up is Rasheth, who I have to say, I am pretty proud of, for his spot. He’s sitting about 70% finished, and I look forward to having him finished!

You will also notice that my pictures suck less. Thankfully, the phone I have sucks less!

 

Nova Open and the ECR

Its about time for the NOVA Open and the East Coast Rumble to start getting ramped up, and I am looking forward to seeing a ton of people and getting some games in. Running and judging WMW qualifier events is no small task!

 

These last few weeks since NOVA have been killer. I’ve not had the motivation, opportunity or drive to really get into a whole lot of gaming, and I think its creating an even further slump that continues to drive downward.

What I have done, I’ve not really been doing in detail, so I’m just going to rattle over some high-view stuff on what I’ve been up to, and what I am considering doing.

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I just picked up my delinquent copy of No Quarter 55 the other day, and I just heard the rumblings of a Theme Force for Dr. Arkadius, the mad scientist of the Thornfall alliance. This has got me thinking about theme forces, and what they do for all games, not just for Warmachine.

I started tabletop games playing Warhammer 40k, and in that game, there was a ton of theme built into every army. While every codex presented the vanilla force of the faction, they also had tons of themed forces you could run. Cadians, Evil Sunz, Black Templars, Biel Tan and specific Hive Fleets dictated your army selection and gave you different benefits for taking them. From the beginning, though, some were obviously considered more powerful than others, and certain books, especially campaign books, boosted it to a completely different level. I remember playing an army of Warp Spiders that was completely bonkers, and might have even been good if I could have proxied it to try it out. Instead, I ended up buying and owning the very characterful Lost and the Damned, which was dropped from the main lineup as soon as the Eye of Terror campaign was over.

The LaTD list was really powerful because it combined sepecific aspects of armies that were otherwise balanced separately into a single force, while limiting the forces that would normally be available to the main (Imperial Guard) force. This is the core of almost every themed army I’ve encountered. Its also why they have such a pull on the communities that they are involved in. If your allowed to run only your favorite model/unit in an army and get bonus’ for it, who wouldn’t?

But thats the rub, here. Most people don’t want to limit themselves because its creative, fluff filled, or interesting. Many people simply want bonuses to how a game functions for limiting themselves in their model choice. I don’t think theme forces really have a place, and though they are tempting, they are generally loose/loose for the communities they are part of.

Inherently, themes break the rules of the game in a drastic way that is extremely hard to balance correctly. This leads to themes that become either the default play style, or that are never used. They are simply black and white, with no gray in between. In Infinity, the use of sectorial armies, and by extension their link teams, is a large part of their discussion of list building and play strategy. I don’t vehemently hate them like I once did but I still cannot see why I wouldn’t just use them in every game, because the link teams are so extremely strong, in my opinion, that they can only be overcome by out-skilling your opponent, becoming a win-more button. Warmachine and Hordes have the signature theme lists for each caster, and sometimes more than one. These, too, I find moderately bothersome. These give various bonuses to the army you play because you restrict yourself in unit choice,  but sometimes the restriction is a moot point because the caster in question would only want to use those models anyway, thus rewarding the clear and normal build for a caster. I wouldn’t be against this if it was true for all of them, but many of them are fairly divergent from the normal way the game encourages you to play, and instead promote strange and janky army lists.

I think Malifaux does it the least wrong, but that’s because it has rules on the models cards that reward you for taking thematic models with them. The Ortegas have family, and the Drill Sergeant buffs models of the guardsman type. This form of theme building is interesting and more balanced to me because the model as it is intended has synergy with other specific models, thus rewarding you for taking them. It is build into the basic premise of the game instead of adding another layer of rules on top.

So, what do you think? Are themed lists and armies the way to go?