Monday, April 29, 2013

Where did Faeit go?

Recently, I was made aware of Faeit being closed down, supposedly by Games Workshop. I can't imagine why on Earth they decided to close it down now. It has been in operation for quite some time now. This new event reveals a couple of terrible things about GW.

1. Either their tech department is garbage, or they knew exactly that Faeit was in operation.
2. The above begs the question: Why do it now? Had Faeit become far too accurate? I don't understand why GW is so adamant about closing down any rumors. It is excellent for marketing. Wizards is quite open about their plans for their future endeavors. It creates excitement and planning for the customers. Why so secretive?

Gdub, I shake my head at you.

Dragon's Maze: Pre-Release Experience

This past Saturday, I participated in the Dragon's Maze Pre-Release hosted by Arkham Games. I chose Golgari as my guild, and my ally was Grull creating the best shard ever!

I ended the tournament 3-2, but I received over $40 in cards over the night! I definitely would not complain about this. It was a fairly fun tournament. I felt that the whole "running the maze" idea was cool, but it was not implemented well at all. Really, it required the guilds to have at least one 5-0 or 4-1 to have any hope of completion. I felt this wasn't terribly fair.

I'm thinking that limited formats will be much improved with the inclusion of Dragon's Maze cards. They compliment the other two sets very well, and it gives the format some much need variety. I felt that both Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash were too limited in scope. You drafted only one or two guilds, or you will be last. Now, Dragon's Maze can really enhance the game. I think I may find myself playing more limited with Dragon's Maze, definitely come summer.

I still want to keep playing Jund in Standard. It may eventually move into a different style of deck, but I am LOVING three colors in Standard. Getting the lands really made the deck work. I used to prefer two colors, but with Shocks and Buddies, there is no reason not to play three colors.

Still trying to get myself moving on my Gdub hobbying, but class takes precedence.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Objectivity Concerning Value in Games

Many games involve some mathematics. Some of the equations are very simple. Other equations require a higher level of aptitude with statistics or algebra to truly understand their effectiveness. Warhammer 40k, Magic: The Gathering and even games like Settlers of Catan require some understanding of chance and probability.

I was discussing the major reason why net-decking in Magic: The Gathering is somewhat unavoidable with a friend last night. The reason is quite simple; there is invariably a BEST card in the slot for your intended purpose. The example I gave was Dreg Mangler. In an Aggro style deck with Jund Colors, Dreg Mangler is invariably going to be the best 3 CMC card with B and G in the cost. It just simply is the best. Any player who wants to succeed in the competitive environment, they must collect the best cards for the job.

In other games, like Warhammer 40k, there are a variety of units and models that can achieve success in a particular part of the game. Looking at just some various imperial armies, there are Missile Launchers, Meltaguns, Autocannons with Psybolt Ammo, and the Battlecannon as providers of large scale strength 8 shooting. They each provide a slightly different kind of strength 8, but there is still some variety. It simply depends on what the built list wants to incorporate. Even still though, the lists often do want a specific type, for it is the best possible fit.

With this extreme objectivity, it becomes tough for some players (myself included) to actually reach a winning combination or cards, models, or characters that doesn't reach simple mimicry. Believe me when I say, it does grind on me when I simply can't incorporate certain rules that I find really compelling or cool based solely on those criteria. It is even more bothersome when I do pick something I find cool, and then it has a horrible stigma attached to it because of its over-inflated value.

In the end though, I think that often the games are not the problem. For certain games, the crowd becomes the major problem. People take a game too far, and they ruin it for others. This phenomenon can't be avoided, so I intend to play the game as I see fit. 

40k Daemons: First Game Impressions

On Saturday, I played a game of Warhammer 40k with my good friend Chris. I had run Daemons in the Apocalypse game near the end of March, but I wanted to try them out in a 1v1 scenario. We rolled for deployment and objectives; The results were Dawn of War and The Relic.

I took my box of Daemon models that I had and quickly threw a list together. The list turned out a little like this:
Bloodthirster
Lord of Change
- Master Level 3, Exalted Reward (took a PortalGlyph)
20 Bloodletters
- Bloodreaver, Lesser Gift (AP 2 Sword)
10 Plaguebearers
6 Fiends
8 Flamers
2 Daemons Princes
- Both MoK, Wings and Armor

My buddy Chris took his Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines. The list went something like this:
Daemon Prince
-MoK, Wings, Armor
Chaos Lord
- Axe of Blind Fury, Terminator Armor
5 Terminators
-Various Loadouts
Hellbrute with Multi-Melta, Powerfist
Hellbrute with Missile Launcher, Reaper Autocannon
2 Squads of 10 CSM
- Fearless Icon, Melta, Champion with Power Sword, Meltabombs
-Rhinos
Vindicator
2 Maulerfiends

The game started pretty slow. I flew my FMCs forward, and I marched the ground Daemons across the field. The Warpstorm gave me the Slaanesh attack, knocking out a few of my Bloodletters. Nothing more happened.

Chris responded with the Daemon Prince and the Maulerfiends charging into some of my units. The combats dragged on, and I was deep into assault. The Terminators charged my Bloodthirster, had to challenge him, lost combat and got run down 0.0.

The game continued with a lot of combat, and I Smashed EVERYTHING. Daemon Princes, Bloodthirster and the Lord of Change wrecked combat everywhere. They would kill their opposition, and then they would fly over to the important combats and help to clean up. At the end of my turn 4, Chris conceded with only Rhinos left.

First Impressions
- I am very stupid for not having used the Portalglyph as soon as possible. I kept forgetting about the wargear. It would have helped me to take the Relic (which I could have taken next turn had Chris not conceded). I can't speak to it's effectiveness because of this.
- Lord of Change with Mastery Level 3 is excellent. For 25 points, it is very worthwhile to take. In the future, I believe I should grab one Change power. For this game, I grabbed 3 Divination powers. These powers were very useful for buffing my army, but it left the Lord of Change unable to really deal any damage.
-The Bloodthirster is A BEAST. It killed nearly triple its points. 4 S10 Smash attacks on the charge make it quite effective in close combats against vehicles or ICs. WS 10 along with I9 is a crazy stat-line.
- Fiends lost some of their appeal in this codex. They are still capable of being very fast and hitting very hard. I think this game may not have showcased their true potential.
- Flamers are not really all that bad. They can put some serious damage on infantry units, but they definitely lost some of their strength due to being only AP 4.
- I need to try and find a solution to Bloodletters versus Dreadnoughts. It is very tough to find beyond giving them a Greater Reward and hoping for some sort of effective upgrade.
- Daemon Princes can also do some major work in Close Combat. Not close to Bloodthirsters, but they are still pretty crazy.
- The Warpstorm table is somewhat hit or miss. There are a number of pretty excellent results on the chart, but most of them are just mediocre shooting attacks. Rolling a 4 for -1 invulnerable save is HORRENDOUS, as is blowing up characters and army-wide instability.
- Instability is also hit or miss. Some combats, it gave me a strong fighting chance, but in other combats, it really messed me up.
- Both of these comments lead into this primary response: The randomness of the army. If you are willing to take a few gambles, Daemons are the army for you. They are still close combat masters, and their FMCs rule the skies.

I had a lot of fun with the Daemons, and I definitely want to get my models built and painted. First, I need to graduate college :P

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Blood and Control?

After the tournament, there was some major discussion about the importance of First Blood as a secondary objective in The Emperor's Will. Some argued that it ended up being a game of taking First Blood, and then the leading player would camp their objective hard. The players thought perhaps the game should be altered to prevent that strategy.

My opinion of this has not changed; I think First Blood is certainly a wonky objective. Without a doubt, it is an objective that favors the player that goes first. However, I do not see a justification that makes this particular mission worthy of avoiding First Blood. Every mission has First Blood; it is a cornerstone secondary objective in 6th edition. Frankly, aiming for First Blood and camping is perfectly legitimate.

If a better secondary objective comes up, I would consider using it. For the time being, First Blood will have to do.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/13/13 Double Fools Results!

Here are some results from the 40k Doubles Tournament held at Arkham this past Saturday.

1st- Wardaddy Greenbucks 3-0 28VP

2nd- #YOLOMcswagdaddy 2-1 40VP

3rd- Legio Ferum 2-1 34 VP

4th- Nukem 2-1 29 VP

5th- NecroKnights 2-1 26VP

6th- Morale Check 2-1 20VP

7th- Team Twilight 1-2 25VP

8th- 0-2 Drop 1-2 19VP

9th- Domino Effect 0-3 16VP

10th- Armageddon 0-3 11VP

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apocalypse! 3/30/13

On March 30th, I played in an 8vs8 large scale Apocalypse game. Each member of the team brought 2,500 to 3,000 points. The teams were split into Good and Evil (with some flip-floppers), and we each had neutral objectives to reach. My good buddy Josh ran the event as a Game Manager. He included many fun and interesting rules to accompany the objectives; the rules were very Orky featuring miniature grot bombs and a pie cannon. It was a great game overall, and I had a ton of fun. There were a couple things that need some improvement, but I have faith in Josh to make it even better! Pictures soon to come.