As I left the tournament Saturday, I was a little agitated. My last game has not gone well, though I’d won, and the entire day was spent tirelessly working towards what I felt was a pedestrian 2-2 showing. Both victories seemed hollow, and both defeats seemed felt self-inflicted. This isn’t to say that the person who won shouldn’t have – they did, but I could defenitly see where I made it much harder on myself than I should have. Above all I felt my main caster throughout the tournament, Zaal 2, was working uphill. I’d spent the last two months playing him, and though it was fun, I’m tired of using a caster that feels like he has one hand tied behind his back.
In just a few days, I’ll be going to only the third tournament I have made it to all year. I had much higher aspirations (6) at the start of the year, but life throws its vagaries at us as it chooses, not as we determine. neither tournament was a rousing success, though I managed to peel away with 2 wins in each outing. This weekend looks to be a big one as well, with 16 players signed up currently. We may once again hit the fabled 5th round! What am I taking this weekend? Well, lets take a look!
Since moving on from Zaal 2 a few weeks ago, I’ve picked up our second-newest caster and started messing with lists for him, and even getting a few games in. Thats right, I’m playing Hit Squad. I’ve talked a little bit about what I envisioned and how I was going to play him, as well as the first battle report. I’ve gotten two more games in with him now, and even though I’ve won all of them, I don’t think I’m actually going to play him much longer.
Spoilers, book releases and No Quarter previews, for years, have been part of what the forums like to call the “Doom Cycle.” There is a picture, but I won’t bore you with it. Google it yourself. Suffice it to say their are four steps:
Pronouncements of Doom.
Pronouncements of Glee. at which time we go back to step 1.
The time we dwell in each portion of the cycle depends on a number of factors, none of which seem either controllable or predictable. Today is the start of the Release portion of the cycle, which is blending, as it does every time, the Doom and Glee. I’m going to go over each release, fairly quickly, and give it a once over.
Since a friend picked me up Zaal 2 at Gencon, I’ve been playing him exclusively, with strong results. Part of that is the inevitable surprise that new casters bring to the table, but a substantial portion of his success is due to the fact that he’s a solid ‘Caster. I know better than to believe that he will become one of the staple top 3 caster in the faction, but I do think he will get some solid play. His army list is constructed differently enough to engender a different play experience, but it is still the experience that is to be expected from the Skorne Faction. Skorne players have the same issue that Khadoran players have with their Warcasters, and I really don’t think that the issue is ever going to vanish. Both factions, at their core, leverage the melee potential in their army to finish the game. Zaal 2 does this with troopers, using the inevitable losses that an army sustains to guide and enable that which remainse remaining models to be more effective individually. Most Skorne casters rely heavily on their beasts. Zaal, in both incarnations, does not.
Whenever I see a new caster come out for my faction, I start poking and stabbing at them to see what makes them tick. Each new caster brings their own method of playing the game, and though each my not be terribly different from the others, almost every one of them requires you to think differently in order to bring the best models to bear with them. In some factions, like Skorne, there main difference is not what each caster brings, but how you apply what the faction does. Skorne beats face with almost every single caster, and each of them does it a bit differently. Zaal 2 brings a completely different tack than I am used to with Skorne – he feels like he was ripped out of the Cryx section.
The last few weeks have been pretty rotten to me in terms of being on a regular schedule with writing. Sadly, I’ve come to a grinding halt with the Mythology Monday articles, because they are extremely hard to write on top of the fact that I don’t know that the provide me anything necessary for the world I am assembling. Combined that with a couple emergencies and family days out, and its been exceedingly hectic throughout the month, and that it looks to be getting worse, not better.
The upside to all of this activity is that I’ve been storing topics and I’ve a number that I’ll be talking about when I get the chance. In preparation of XCOM 2 coming this fall, I’ve decided to try and experience Marathon Mode in all its hellacious glory; I think I’ve talked about it but I’ve recently beaten Dragon Age: Inquisition; I’ve been grinding away at my D&D players will to live, and I’ve picked up the brush and started painting more casters, most recently Zaal 2 and Morghoul 2.
So, I’ll get back in stride as soon as I can manage it, though NOVA and Brawltimore Scheduling will undoubtedly prove to be obstacles. Until then, though, I’m just going to be tossing out what I can, when I can. Today is gonna be a quick rundown of a game I played with Zaal 2 against Garryth.
With the Coming of Gencon and the release of new models, there is always the accompanying wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not, I didn’t say some. Entrenched in the very fabric of the Warmachine and Hordes community is the Doom Cycle, and endless repetition of bad feelings, gloom and resigned detachment. However, shortly thereafter, there is nearly always acceptance of the new models amidst the stable of the tried and true. This year’s Great Wail was heard over Zaal, Ancestral Advocate, the new Epic Skorne Warlock.