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!

Theros, Baby!

I’m incredibly stoked at this new set, where its going, and how many levels of awesome it is. But first: Background!

So, I played MTG back a while ago, Invasion, ect. I wasn’t going to start back up again, I just didn’t have the mental investment. My brother, 10 years later, did his damnedest to get me to start EDH, which I balked at for a few years, but eventually gave in last year around Innistrad block. Picked up some cards from Ebay and started being really disappointed that I missed Ravnica Block.

Que awesome timing music!

With return to Ravnica I decided I’d figure out how to draft. It was a fun, entertaining format, and I tore right into it. My first draft of RTR I finished bottom of the pile, with some stupid-dumb mistakes (passing the sphinx of the Chimes as first pick… )

My last DGM Draft I did I took first. In the block I’d learned a lot about a complex draft and how to bend and twist. M14 has been nice, but it’s not the type of draft I like. Slivers is the only theme I’ve really been able to gravitate to. I did well, but it wasn’t what I’d call exciting.

Theros, ladies and gentleman, looks exciting.
All five colors have gods, all 10 color combos have gods. Bring em on!
The three city states are really well represented: Athens, Sparta, Amazonia. As a student of Classical History, I’m really pleased by a lot of the cards they are previewing

The Planswalkers Guides they are putting out, covering Gods, People, and the forthcoming Monsters article have been really informative.
I’m a dork, I know.

The keywords they are using are interesting, in addition. They have a very Grecian theme to each of them, and I really feel that so far they capture the thought process of the Ancient Greeks:
Scry – Oracles and Seers were a huge part of ancient life, and it is really cool to see them represented
Heroic – Oracles and Seers are only useful if they have Heroes to guide, and I really like the Heroic mechanic as presented so far
Monstrous – What good are heroes if they have no monsters to fight? This Kicker-in-waiting is a really cool way to get make a creature into a time bomb.
Devotion – After a strong Multi-color set, its really neat to see a very strong pull to mono-color decks by design. I’m impressed, but I’ll have to see it in play.
Bestow – Man, I can’t say enough about it. Aura’s always had two problems: Needing another creature, and being 2-for-1’d when the creature was finally killed. This seems to solve both those problems. Its a creature if you don’t have any, and its a buff for a creature that drops onto the battlefield as its own creature once the target is taken out. It can be a really good way to buff out sweepers that you see coming, bounce and a number of other effects.

As you can tell, I’m really pumped that this is coming during my time back in magic. I probably won’t last much longer than Theros, my tolerance is extraordinarily low, but I’ll be able to draft it certainly!

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

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