Thursday, June 16, 2011

Delicious Pustules

My OFCC Nurgle themed Warriors of Chaos army is now painted!  I have a few minor finishing touches to do but otherwise it's ready for the tournament.

The list has changed quite a bit since my original post.  The primary change being that OFCC chose to go with 2000 point lists rather than the 2500 we had originally assumed.

I dropped the sorcerer as I did not want to take a Lord level wizard and the level two just wasn't worth the points.  I prefer the close combat phase anyway so his points just went towards more killiness.

My original idea behind the army was adhering to Nurgle's sacred number as much as possible.  Thanks to the aid of my friends Darron and John I was able to meet this beyond what I had even planned.  Each unit that can realistically be a multiple of seven is so (when characters are included) and the total number of units is seven!  It's glorious!

Here is a pic and the final list:

2000 Pts - Warriors of Chaos Roster - Delicious Pustules

Heretus Scabgrabber, Exalted Hero of Nurgle, 161 pts (Gen; MoN; Sh)
    Chaos Steed
    Warrior Bane
    Favour of the Gods

Argen the Poxed, Exalted Hero of Nurlge BSB, 175 pts (MoN; BSB)
    Charmed Shield
    Talisman of Protection

Excretus Purulence, Exalted Hero of Nugle, 160 pts (MoN; Sh)
    Glaive of Putrefaction

Heretus' Guardians , 6 Chaos Knights of Nurlge, 300 pts (MoN; Mus; Std)

Leprous Invaders, 20 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle, 388 pts (MoN; Mus; Std; Sh)
    Rupturous Standard

Rotted Legionnaires, 20 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle, 368 pts (MoN; Mus; Std; Sh)

Puss Gobblers, 21 Chaos Marauders of Nurgle, 147 pts (MoN; Mus; Std; Flail)

Unwashed Ones, 14 Chaos Marauders, 82 pts (Mus; Std; Flail)

Canker of the Great Father, Chaos Spawn of Nurgle, 85 pts (MoN)

Mar on the Countryside, Chaos Warshrine, 130 pts

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another Goals Update

I've gotten numerous small items off my goals list.
  • Got my workbench cleaned up.
  • My "junk" pile has been gone through, culled and better contained.
  • I got several more wishlist games added to my collection last month.
  • Played a few more games in my collection that needed one.  This one is going to get tougher and as time goes on I feel more and more that I won't be able to accomplish it.  But it's having the needed effect regardless
  • Started playing in Glen's Traveler adventure which has been fun so far.
  • I'm not making very good progress on my Nurgle army and that is going to have to change very soon.
  • I haven't been getting in quite enough gaming with my kids but I'm gonna work on that some more.
  • I did get most of my game collection rated and commented on BGG though there is still work to do.
  • I wrote one review for BGG and while I plan to write more I think one a month is a far more reasonable and obtainable goal for me than one a week.  Plus I need to rethink how I write reviews as this last one I wrote caused an annoying shit storm of comments that I would rather not have repeated.

One of the problems with my goals is that in some cases they are situational.  I knew this was going to happen as the year went on that I was going to become less interested in trying to accomplish some of my goals (such as HOTT armies/basing for my LOTR figs) and others get added.  It's odd because while I want to accomplish the goal it does really require me to have enough interest to motivate the actual work.  Honestly I think it's why goals have never really worked well for me, my interests are too dynamic.  If the goal isn't something I can accomplish within the time frame of that momentary passion then it just get's put off.

Despite this though i think the goals list is still a good idea.  It reminds me of the things that I would like to get done "some day" if nothing else.  Certainly this year the goal list has done a good job of keeping me more motivated than in the past with my gaming in general if not necessarily with the specific line item goals themselves and that alone makes it a worthy exercise.

Monday, February 21, 2011

WHFB Tournament

Sunday was our bi-monthly Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th edition tournament at Ancient Wonders.

It was a three round, Swiss pairing tournament at 1250 points with unique scenarios.  We had nine players:

Me: Warriors of Chaos (Nurgle themed)
Jeremy: Warriors of Chaos (Tzeentch themed)
John: Wood Elves
Neil: Orcs & Goblins
Tom: High Elves
Jimmy: Vampire Counts
Josh: Skaven
Josh (Hanz & Franz): Empire
Nick: High Elves (Nippon themed)


Round One
Scenario: Mist shrouded magic woods.
   The entire table was wooded except a single road bisecting the table from player to player.  It was also shrouded in a fog which forced a visibility check for each unit each turn of 3xArtillery die.  If you rolled a misfire any movement would result in a dangerous terrain check with a wound on a 1-2.

Objective: Have the most units in your opponents deployment zone.

Opponent: Neil, Orcs & Goblins

Result: Tied on scenario points with both of us having two units in each others deployment zone.  However I won the game on the tie breaker of victory points having wiped out all of his army except his Trolls (which went off board to score), a Rock Lobba' and a Spear Chukka' having lost only my Marauders (for VP purposes).


Round Two
Scenario: Capture the treasure.
    Each player placed three tokens representing treasure.  You had to charge the token to collect the treasure.  When collecting a treasure the first time you had to roll to ensure it wasn't booby trapped.  Rolling a 1 cased a small template S6 explosion on the unit.

Objective: Player with the most treasure at the end of 8 turns wins.

Opponent: John, Wood Elves

Result: After a lot of beating the crap out of each other I managed to collect all six treasures.  It was a real knock down drag out however with John putting in the effort to at least force a draw if he could making the game tense right till the end.


Round Three
Scenario: Kill the opponents banner bearers and general.
   For each banner you collected during the game you got battle points.  Bonus points were awarded for the enemy BSB and General if you killed them.

Objective: Get the most banners and kill the enemy BSB and General.

Opponent: Jeremy, Warriors of Chaos (Tzeentch)

Result: Jeremy's army had his BSB and his General in a unit with it's own banner also, representing more potential battle points then he could get from me since I had only four unit banners and my general.  While he did kill my general and we traded banners on a pair of other units, me running down this unit at the bottom of turn two represented a loss for him with little hope of even a draw (thanks to the bonus points from the BSB for me).


Tournament Result
1. Me
2. John
3. Jeremy

This was one of the best tournaments I've played in because no one (that I noticed anyway) was a tool.
The scenarios were interesting and made for unique experiences.  Oh and also, I won!  ;-P

Seriously though this was the first time at a tournament for me where there wasn't a player I was worried about facing.  Tournaments have always been hard for me because of dealing with players outside of my normal group.  Whenever there are new players that I've never face before at a tournament I get a bit anxious.  While I didn't end up facing any of the new players I wouldn't have hesitated to do so as they seemed like decent enough guys.  Alas this hasn't always been the case with our tournaments.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Present and Future of Warhammer Fantasy Battle

There was a great deal of discussion last night at my FLGS regarding the state and future of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Games Workshops handling of that game.

Currently WHFB is in it's 8th edition which was just released late last year.  Since that time we've all been trying to get to grips with the radical changes in the game.  Some of the changes we love, some of them we hate.  We don't all always agree on what changes are good or bad but for the most part I think our group is on the same page.  I plan on writing an article about the rules changes at some point, but beyond even the systems problems themselves lies a greater problem.

Army books.  The army books provide the special rules, statistics and points costs for the units that make up that force and it is a necessary part of WHFB.

The problem manifests itself in that GW is very slow about updating these books.  In fact several army books are two editions old, written for a game system that is completely different than what is available today.  To make matters worse, since the release of 8th edition, not a single army book has been released.  We expect to get the first, Orcs & Goblins, sometime in the next month or so.  This has been a cause of serious frustration and it's unlikely to end anytime soon.

In years past GW was pretty good about cycling through the different game systems for updates.  So one month might see the release of book for their Lord of the Rings system, the next 40k and then next Fantasy and so on.  But in the past few years GW has focused more and more on 40k.  Worse still, even in 40k there are armies without an updated book for it's current edition (5th), such as Necrons, because GW tends to focus on the most popular army in that game, Space Marines.  Since WHFB 8th editions release there has been three releases, all for 40k, and two of them Space Marine related.

Couple this with some of the more drastic (and largely disliked) rules changes in 8th edition and even the most stoic WHFB supporters are jumping ship.  The group responsible for Podhammer, a famous (infamous?) podcast dedicated to WHFB, has moved to other games.

This was a topic of discussion for us as well.  Personally I have mixed feeling about WHFB.  On the one hand I have loved the game for many years.  But I've grown tired of the treadmill also.  Yet right now, the treadmill is nowhere to be found, at least in terms of army book releases.  It's almost worse!  At some point though you have to make the decision, keep on with the status quo and be at the mercy of the publisher.  Or finally say enough and find a spot that works for your group.  I'm hoping that my group does one of two things.  Either give up on WHFB as a game system (note not the Warhammer universe) and replace it with a gamer-friendly system such as Armies of Arcana or go back to an edition of WHFB that we all like and already have books for such as 6th or 7th.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nightfall at Ancient Wonders

Monday night board gaming at AW consisted of us playing the stores shiny new promo copy of Nightfall and new deck building game from AEG.

I normally don't do reviews of games I haven't played many times and don't own, but I made an exception in this case.  This review was originally posted to Board Game Geek.

While I'm sure I'll end up playing Nightfall again (others in my group like it) I know it won't change my outlook about it.


1. Theme -
If there is one single thing that I can point to that best covers the reason why I don't like this game, theme is it. As I have mentioned in my other reviews, theme is very important to me. Even in cases where the theme is really just a tacked on framework for a Euro math problem it's important because it gives my imagination the seed to work with during game play. I much prefer games with lots of theme (Arkham Horror for example).

This game has a pretty heavy theme and AEG has done a good job of trying to put the cards into that theme. The art is really good. The names and flavor text are only so-so but they get the job done.

But I'm giving the game no stars for theme for one very simple reason. I hate the theme they selected. Vampires? Werewolves? Really? Hoping to tap into the Twilight fad are we AEG?

I hate vampires. Hate them. They are a horrible horror genre. Werewolves are ok but they too have been done to death.

This alone will keep me from ever being interested in playing this game let alone buying it.


2. Components -
The cards seemed to be of good quality (keep in mind that the game I played was using my FLGS' promo copy). The box however was the best part. Very well constructed and best of all small. I'll confess to having something of a box fetish and while I've never had a problem with large game boxes there are times when a box is way larger than it needs to be for no good reason. In this case the box is big enough for the base game with some apparent room for future expansions while still being compact.


3. Rules -
I'm probably being a bit unfair here since I didn't actually read the rules myself. Also given that this was our first game we all knew we were going to get stuff wrong. However several mechanics got messed up multiple times with numerous reads for them and that gave me the impression that the rules were not written well enough to get the point across after the first couple of reads.

To be truly fair though there wasn't anything that really stood out to me as bad about the rules other than the confusion I've mentioned and that could easily be chalked up to the players themselves.


4. Gameplay -
Nightfall has a couple of interesting mechanics and a few that I didn't like.

Setup
Like Dominion, Nightfall has a "village" of cards that you can buy from. But rather than a simple randomizer deck to determine what cards are available the village is partially drafted. Also each player gets to draft two cards whose stacks only they can buy from (with some exceptions). I found this mechanic to be very cool and I think would make a great variant idea for Dominion.

Chaining
Unlike other games of this type, cards come into play via a play chain started by the currently active player. You can play as many cards as you like onto the chain so long as you are meeting the chaining requirements (handled by colored moons on the upper left hand corner of the card). Once everyone has had an opportunity to play onto the chain the cards are then resolved in reverse order.

This mechanic is both interesting and annoying. At first I felt that it had been put into the game simply to set it apart rather than as a good idea. After some play though I can see how it can create some very interesting combos and chaining effects and it certainly is a novel method of getting cards into play. It also helps to keep players involved in the game even when they are not the active player.

But I disliked that the chaining was done using color matching. I personally am only partially color blind and really only have a problem with colors which are too similar. While I had no problem discerning the colors on the cards one of our other regulars Mark is green-red color blind and had a hell of a time with any cards using either of those.
 It also meant that you could end up without the chance to play a card onto the chain simply because you lack the color needed to add to the chain. Added to this the player starter decks have only a single color for chaining (all other cards have two) and in some cases you wouldn't want to play any of the cards onto a chain other than your own anyway. This made the game seem very very slow to get moving. To be fair however this was our first game and we were all feeling our way along so this could easily be just a failure of analysis on our parts.

Combat
One of the things that I think is a shortcoming for other deck building games is the lack of direct player interaction as a core mechanic. Nightfall flat out requires you to attack your fellow players if you have creatures in play. But then at the end of your turn all your creatures (again with a few exceptions) get discarded which I found annoying. Creatures are already able to take damage from attacks so the only reason I could think of to force us to discard them was to keep the cards cycling in your deck.

Victory Condition
The winner is the person who took the least wounds from combat during the course of the game. Wounds are tracked using special wound cards that form their own deck and this deck is the game timer. Once all the wound cards are gone the game is over.

What's cool about the wound cards is, while they go into your deck, they aren't a play detriment like Dominions VP cards. Not only can you discard wound cards from your hand to draw additional cards (only at the end of your turn) but you can also trash them from your deck with card effects adding another interesting dynamic.


Conclusion
Nightfall as a deck building game is not bad. It brings some interesting new mechanics to the genre. The card chain and the forced combat mean you will be interacting with your opponents which is something this game type needed.

For me though I just can't get past the theme. I know many others will love it and I would say that if you do like the theme and you like deck building games Nightfall is probably going to be great for you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Game Room Rearranged

Well I finally got the rearranging of my game room complete.  Here are a few pics:

My new cabinets hold the games better.  The old cabinet (large on the right) does better as terrain keeper.

My gaming table.
My Wall O' Minis (Yes I know, most of them aren't painted. blah blah blah)

My desk and new workbench.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Minor Goal Update

My goal of adding a game from my wishlist to my collection each month has been achieved for February.

Arkham Horror and Defenders of the Realm finally got to me yesterday after a serious delay in delivery due to the huge storm across the country.

Both of these games are also very solo friendly which is a big part of why I ordered them now.

Also I'm nearly complete with rearranging my gaming room.  I didn't end up taking pictures of the process because A) I forgot at the beginning and B) pictures of random piles of crap really doesn't make much sense.  I will post a picture of the finished room though (as if you'd care).