The Theros prerelease was this weekend, and I had a blast!

I really enjoy the sealed events of prerelease days. The sealed environment gives you access to all the flavor and mechanics of the new set, without having to commit a ton of memory for drafting or standard. Allowing you, in a casual atmosphere, to build a deck that is generally pretty good and can stand on its own with a little good play. It also gives you the thrill of opening a pile of packs and hoping for good stuff. Which I never got.

Ah well! It was still a fun time. I ended up at the local store right about 11:00 for the midnight event, and hung outside with some of the standard crowd before heading in to get going. I met my brother and a pair of friends there, and it was setting out to be good times. I signed up for the blue set, as it seemed the strongest, according to that one article I was able to read before heading out. It seemed pretty reasonable. A fatty 6/6 with a trigger to get it to 10/10 and tap down four creatures looks pretty good. The review also pointed out that blue had a stable of good cards, including uncharacteristic fattys in Shipbreaker Kraken, Bethnic Giant, and Precient Chimera. Appearances can be deceiving, but I was not deceived. Blue crushed the game out for me in the first round, dropped the second to a mirror after changing pair colors, and then picked up again on the final. I started out with a U/R deck in the first go, having Rage of Porphoros, Magma Jet, and Lightning strike, but a few anemic bodies and a couple larger ones, with blue rounding out in the fatty and flying department. My friends convinced me to run the green, but its against my nature, I wasn’t able to cast the spells I wanted, and waiting around for my giant green creatures did me in in the second round.

Speaking of the second round. My opponent was fantastic with his B/U deck. Flyers and removal, with 3 Pharika’s Cure, 2 Lash the whip, and a pile of Stymied Hopes and Dissolves. The Nessian Lion took one game over for me, paired with a Feral Invocation and monstrous to make him 6/6 hexproof and indestructible. I out raced the unblocked Prognostic Sphinx to just edge him out in the second. The third was less entertaining, as he dropped the Sphinx again and took me to town without so much as a whimper.

The Kraken was exactly as advertised, and every time I resolved him on the field, I ended up taking the game. He’s a bad ass in limited, and I expect to get beat by him every draft.

The best part of the prerelease weekend, though, was the Two Headed Giant that my brother and I entered as The Brothers Grim. We went in thinking to get some heroic work done, and appropriately chose green and white: the colors with the most heroic. We opened almost no heroic creatures, and even less triggers though. Instead we went with a, to me, clever strategy. He took all the ramp and fatties in a big, stompy, rampy, W/G deck. Two Anthousa, Vulpine Goliath, Arbor Colossus, Ashen Rider, the works. I took all of the removal, and a ton of B/R weenies. I was just there to clog the field, chump block, and clear the path. We took two of three, again, and ended with a positive record, which was good enough for us. The first game was the one we dropped. It took us long enough to put the decks together that we didn’t have a whole lot of time to shuffle, and with only one game, a lot was hanging on this one opening hand. My brother’s was a little light on mana, but we figured we’d be OK with his pair of rampy creatures. We could have been, as he ended the game with only four on the table, but his three mana producers in the graveyard. The first one we lost to a combat trick, and the others we lost to an ill thought out Anger of the Gods. The next two we took to town against a pair of kids, and a new girl and her boy. But, we emerged victorious, and that’s what counted. We each got a pair of packs, and I got to have a blast with my brother. I look forward to doing the Chosen of the Gods Prerelease in a few months time, and maybe getting a draft or two in in the meantime. Who knows, with a baby on the way!

The Sanctuary faction in Heroes 6 is pretty cool. I will say I was initially all bad mouth on the Sanctuary models, but after using them, I’m really fond of them. Sharks-at-Arms, Naga, Medusa, Water and snow spirits, and Frogmen? The Champion creature, each factions biggest and baddest, is the Kirin, which looks neat, has a huge hit pool, and comes out very fast.

It is much better than Haven, and almost on par with Necropolis in terms of fun factor. The elite naga troopers are pretty terrible which makes me sad though. The big problem is that they are on par with the Haven’s griffon troopers in terms of durability and damage output: which is to say both of them are 0. It is a huge disappointment for both of tthe units, as they are fantastic looking troopers. The upgraded Kenshi/Kensi is a four armed, katana wielding snake man! What is cooler than that? And Haven’s only Non-Humanoid creature is the Griffon, who leaps into the air and diving-assaults people! But both are extremely weak defensively, to the point where core units can break them apart, and their damage output against other elites just isn’t there either. Both have been relegated to the sidelines unless I could stack an enormous amount of them.

Also, My favorite unit, Coral Priestesses, get the hell shelled out of them by the opponent, causing me no end of grief. I only have one or two ranged units, and having one of them burned out by the opponent as fast as possible has been really frustrating.

I’ve made it to map 4, and I’m about to tear Gerharts heart out of his chest, which, for me, is just about as awesome as it gets. I also got to toy around with the Stronghold faction, in the last map, and that got me really pumped to play them.

A Couple Mid-game Observations

Extra Heroes seem redundant unless you need to transport armies. The Enemy armies are just to large for you to be splitting your troops

Chain Lightning seems like a game breaker, but It could just be a factor to try and get the area cleared better and easier.

Water as a spell school is terrible. Air is Amazing.

There are tons of ways to increase your Magic Power stat, but very few to raise you’re Might Power.

There is no good online Resource. Maybe I’ll make one.

Also, on Sunday I traded my perfectly fine, painted bane thralls for unpainted unassembled ones. This’ll be the 3rd time I have done this. I hope this one turns out as successful as the first two.

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

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

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

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

NOVA is upon us!
And it can only be a good thing!

The NOVA open is a Convention in Washington DC (NOthern VirginA) that draws a pretty large crowd. I’ve been PGing there for Privateer Press for the last two years, this being my third. I’ll be judging Tournaments, running Iron Arena, and generally working my ass of for two days. My buddies Brian and Brendan will be there way earlier than I will, arriving on Thursday morning. I’ll be heading out of work early to get there around 5, and run the first of my tournaments – I don’t honestly know what it is I’ll be running, but damn it, I’ve got my bag packed and ready to rock. 50 Objective markers, 50 flags, 16 circular scenarios, 16 rectangular, and more scenario sheets than you can shake a book at.

I’ll also be judging Hardcore, Masters, and anything else being run.

Its always awesome to see the Masters Tournaments. But sometimes it can be a bit disheartening to know that people you know well and root for to win the thing will drop after being beat. I’ve really been wondering if a single elimination style tournament would be better overall. There can be only one!

In addition to what I run, and what the Pressgangers are going to go out and do, there are a HOST of other activities: MTG tournaments, Painting and Hobby Seminars, Warhammer 40k and Fantasy tournaments, a Vendor hall. I almost forgot my Infinity buddies! They will be running tournaments to! SO MUCH TO DO!

Its all pretty damned impressive for a convention that is only 5 years old.

It is a bittersweet time for me, however. Its the last convention I am going to be able to run or even go to for a while, because my wife will be giving birth to our daughter in October. Normally I also travel out and do both the Warstore Weekend and the Colonial, but this year, it looks like its gonna be out of bounds. It happens! I’ll be using it to get caught up in painting.

As I was Putting this all together it looks like I’m just shilling a product, but its just happenstance that this is what is coming up when this starts. You’ll see!

If you have Any comments, write em, I’ll read.
Also, Help me define a style. This is so.. Bland, but I’ve yet to make it my own. Color changes, modifications, whatever!

Now, off to the Adventures of Jerek of Jord!

-Tio

Welcome Back.

This week has me really pumped. There are a ton of Nerd things coming up are nothing short of fantastic:
M2e Beta (part 2)
Theros Block (MTG)
Relic Knights Rules book and cards released
NOVA Open
I’ll dedicate a post to each of these things in turn in the next few days, but man is it a good feeling to have so many things to look forward to doing.

In addition, I’ve been playing Heroes of Might and Magic VI … Or Might and Magic:Heroes VI. I don’t know. Its dumb that they changed the name, or maybe even didn’t. No one seems to know.
Oh, Shit! X-Com Enemy Within! How could I have forgotten. Announced recently, and coming out in November, Its something I am really, really looking forward to.

-Tio