Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rarkthor's Response: Maelstrom Missions and the Like

Both of the above articles discuss the legitimacy of Maelstrom missions. Both of the articles placed Maelstrom missions as either not suitable for tournament play or required serious modifications to be viable.

With experience in a number of other long-term tactical war-games, I don't think that random objectives are so random that it necessitates removal from competitive play. One example of a game that uses random objectives to great effectiveness is Twilight Imperium 3. The game relies on these random objectives to secure victory. They are somewhat similar to the Maelstrom objectives in their scope, which is to say that one success in a particular element of the game leads to victory. Obtaining a certain amount of technology cards in TI3 (the abbreviation for the game) will gain you one victory point.

The major difference for these objectives, in TI3, is that they are public and available to both opponents. Players can score the same objective in the same game round, and they sit for the entirety of the game.

My thought is to apply this concept to the Maelstrom of War missions. Make each player fight for the same objectives. If they have a D3 option, standardize it at 2 (similar again to TI3 with Stage 2 objectives, which are harder and therefore worth more points.) These same objectives sit throughout the game, and whomever earns the most points wins. You can then establish a certain series of tiebreakers throughout the mission to handle ties.

There are some games of TI3 that create objectives that are just so difficult to achieve and often are ignored as potential objectives. This is the nature of the game though, and instead of feeling like the player has nothing to do, the player normally just tries to advance their board state. This is true in 40k as well. If you can't score Maelstrom objectives, you can certainly aim for destroying enemy units and increasing your chances of victory.

I think this version of Maelstrom of War could be very interesting. I will be posting more of my thoughts as I develop them.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fantasy Football

During each football season, some gaming buddies of mine have been hosting a fantasy football league. 

I've done well in one or two of them placing 3rd (in the paid for league prize), but the past few years, I have been not doing so well. I know I made some big time mistakes during my draft, but what else can I do to improve my performance in what seems like a luck based activity? 

I pay very close attention to match ups and predictions. I do my best to be ahead on the waiver wire, but I still just can't seem to win the games I need to. What is it that I can do to improve? It's odd to try and improve on a contest that I can not figure out a method to improve. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Adjustment on The Hobby Level

So, as I search around and research vital information for my new place, I find myself looking into other non essential resources such as a game store! 

The closest game store is about 1.5 hours out. Not too bad really, but definitely not a situation I can afford to make on the regular. 

I'm trying to figure out the best way to make gaming, a very social and person based hobby, to happen in a logistically sound way. 

Any suggestions or ideas? I plan on building my own 40k/Fantasy table, which could easily work as a general gaming table. The issue would be of logistics :/. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Attempt 2 (Or Perhaps 3?) for the NOVA Open

In a bout of exciting news, I have recently found a new job and a new place to live! Moving will be fun, but I am beyond excited for the possibilities. I hope to make the best of it.

Because of these newly found prospects for income, I am making a bold attempt to make a trip for NOVA Open 2015. This attempt should be a bit more fruitful than the last, simply due to an increased amount of funds for the future.

Still looking into some of the details for the event, but I will try my hardest to make it work. I am excited as all get out for the future, and this is just one of the aspects I look forward to :) .

So Glad I Deleted My Facebook

The elation/butt-hurt from this past Tuesday is a very effective reminder for why I deleted Facebook. Still not going back. That is all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition

It's tough to watch this video and not be filled with nostalgia. This was the game that defined my transition into mature games. I had a Playstation and a Nintendo 64 for quite some time, but I mainly played games like Super Mario 64, and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

This is, without a doubt, swaying me to the side of Xbox One. I doubt I will become invested in the next gen systems anytime soon, but this is a major factor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rarkthor's Response: It's Ok To be Try-Hard, but Keep It to Yourself

I often read StarCity Games articles as my source of Magic: The Gathering reading. I still enjoy the game immensely, regardless of my decreased investment. It is worth it to me to read the articles.

For this gentleman, Ross Merriam, he gains enjoyment from the hyper competitive nature of Magic. There is nothing wrong with that mentality. The impact it has on a FNM crowd, however, can be detrimental to all.

Wizards of the Coast has stated quite clearly that FNM is intended for fun and casual play. It does not have the same standards for rules and regulations. For some, however, they are willing to ignore this goal to promote their own standings. They want to win, sometimes at the expense of others. I have seen and heard players speaking of them "taking money from others." This is true, but this mentality does not at all promote new players enjoying themselves. This "winning is the only goal" mentality should not be outwardly imposed on others.

Merriam should not be criticized for his work mentality concerning Magic. However, as with most extreme mentalities, it should not be imposed on others. FNM at my local store has suffered from this perspective on the game. It is OK to want to perform and excel at the game. However, a Johnny type at the store should not be made fun of for a dud of a deck (He probably already knows this; you don't need to remind him). Sometimes, people do not want your advice. Don't tell them how to build their deck better; they will learn themselves. Let them enjoy it as they see fit.

I disapprove, in some ways, this reinforcement of the work mentality behind Magic. The "sheeple" nature of the Magic community really feeds off the words of better players. Promoting your own "winning is the root of all joy" can and does create an increased negativity behind the game, particularly at the lowest tiers of play.

Rarkthor's Response: The Nature of the 40k Tournament Scene

I have posted the link above for context. Read the article first, in case my response seems confusing.

Torrent of Fire has posted these "Weekend in Review" articles, pretty much every week since the creation of the website. Often, these posts do call out for the normalization and standardization of the 40k tournament scene. It has been a fairly constant theme and concept proposed by the author and creator of the site, Chip Boyd.

I find the major obstacles for this goal are two-fold: the lack of standardization from Games Workshop and the mentalities of 40k gamers.

The first issue is self-evident. Games Workshop has given up on the tournament scene in most ways. 'Ard Boyz is a thing of the past, and Games Day tournaments have not been held in years. It is easy to see that the design behind Games Workshop games is intended for narrative/beer and pretzels gaming. There is nothing wrong with that mentality, but for many, the competitive aspect of the game has a very strong allure (myself included).

The second issue, however, can be divided into two groups: The Tournament Organizers and the Players.

Tournament Organizers are motivated folks who only wish to put on a great event for their players. I, having organized several tournaments of various flavors, harbor a great respect for these individuals and their staff. They are Gentlemen beyond compare. That being said, I think that they have very specific ideas about how the game is best played. This is extremely evident in the NOVA open style, and it is also evident in the BAO style event (I use these tournaments as examples, since they are considered the major East and West coast events, respectively). These concepts do not necessarily co-exist together, for these ideas are often the product of the Organizer and their staff pooling their understanding and conceptions of the game. It then becomes difficult to compromise certain elements of the game to reach a standard. It is worth noting that 40k gamers in particular are generally smart individuals; however, sacrificing creative children is not an easy task for a gamer. This is not a slight on the two organizers specifically, but it is, instead, an observation that has held true over my years of gaming.

The Players suffer from a similar issue, but it is different in its nature. Players are often seeking the best scenario for their own interests. Eldar players really enjoy having a massive arc of fire for their Wave Serpents, and Daemon players would have been elated to have summoned Objective Secured troops. They are willing to ignore the balance of the game as a whole, if the imbalance benefits them personally. This mentality creates a concept of "What rules and standards will benefit me the most?" A Tau player loves having little terrain and firing lanes the size of Texas, so they "don't mind the terrain." An Ork player will put forth a recommendation to increase terrain. So, since there is no real standardization from GW, players will argue for their own benefits. There is no correct answer, so they can argue from any direction they see fit. No justification required.

I anticipate some to disapprove of these ideas based on their somewhat (or very depending on the author's perspective) negative slant. I can only say that this is my own philosophy, and I acknowledge the skeptical nature of it. I am also a 40k Gamer, and I am fully aware that I have my conceptions and ideas about the game. I try my damnedest to hold my opinions and create events that are ubiquitously fair and even, regardless of my true feelings on the issue. An example I would give is the inclusion of a painting score. Personally, I don't care if you bring the infamous Grey Army of Grey Doom, but the players that create well sculpted and fully painted armies deserve some recognition for their work. That is, in my mind, fair. 

These gamer base issues are really the impediments that the 40k tournament scene faces. I hope that someone will be able to unite the masses and bring standardization to the competitive scene of 40k. To do this though, the personalities will need to be quelled long enough to achieve results. 

Some Inspiration to Blog: Rarkthor's Response

As always, I am inspire to write and promote discussion between folks. I personally thrive in that environment. I love to hear what another person has to say. They give me insights that I realize I would never be able to achieve on my own. It is foolish to think that my view of the world is the only one, and it is even more foolish to think my view is the best view.

The internet serves as an excellent tool to read and discuss the thoughts of others in a meaningful way. I read several different websites of articles on many of my favorite hobbies, and I feel this reading has helped me to improve my own game through the cultivation of the thoughts and perspectives others may have. I find myself also wishing to respond to them, but I question the necessity of responding directly to the author of the article.

From this desire to write and put out these thoughts while perhaps avoiding unnecessary conflict, I have thought of a new line of blog posts.

I will post the link to an article, web page, or other source that I have read/heard recently. From that article, I will post my own response, hopefully to encourage some discussion and reading. If the author may benefit from my response, I will post the link for them to read the response. From there, it is up to them to engage me in discussion.

I will be posting some articles in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bragging Rights for Best Painted!

My newly painted Grey Knight army won Best Painted over the weekend at the Arkham Games 40k tournament!

While I didn't win anything more fantastic than that, I really enjoyed the recognition for that work. I didn't feel like I had the best army in the house, but I really did feel good that I garnered enough votes to win. 

I'll try to get a really cool picture to add to the blog with the whole army in tow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Seriously Large Amount of Painting Complete!

Check them out! They may not be the best, but I painted them myself. I am proud to have done that at least. :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Magical Weekend

Aside from playing in two Khans of Tarkir pre-releases, the weekend was overall just awesome.

I was able to make a sale on the Magic card lot I had, and I received pretty much the price I was looking for. It was worth it monetarily and "spirtually" in the loosest sense of the word. It was nice to unload such a previously massive and, for the most part, sedentary collection. I finally can breath a bit easier about Magic, particularly standard.

This weekend I played Mardu and Abzan. I went 3-0 with Mardu and 4-0 with Abzan. Holy shit. An undefeated weekend! I got a ton of packs for my great success, and I pulled some awesome cards, specifically a Wingmate Roc! Yeah!!!

I think that Khans of Tarkir is an excellent set, and I love the design of it. There were so many ways to fix your mana between the tri-color lands, the banners, and the duals that gain a life. The other very important thing about Khans is the REAL removal the set featured. I love it. I was certainly tired of the Battlecruiser strategies of Theros, and the removal made that not a problem.

In addition, the intrigue of Morph made my games even more interesting, and Outlast is a good mechanic, if you play it right. Raid was decent, but it became a decision between the extra value or just having the dude. Morph, I feel, is not good for the larger creatures. There is too much removal that can kill a morph on the tapout. The best Morphs in the set are the creatures that reveal based on color.

What did you all think of Khans?

Sunday, September 14, 2014


As often as you see the word Purge in any Warhammer Fantasy or 40k work of fiction, this post pertains strictly to Magic: The Gathering. I am performing a massive purge of bulk rares and overall valuable cards, hopefully to gain some money.

I found myself in quite an interesting predicament in terms of the overall game of Magic. I realized that playing Standard for me was beginning to lose its luster. I, at one point, wished to build very strong decks with quite a high caliber of card quality. I built a RUG midrange deck with 10 planeswalkers and a number of mythic cards. For me, it just wasn't worth it overall. I had just as much fun playing a Mono-White Soldier deck, which featured no real serious value cards. It just played creatures and anthem effects to win the game. Simple yet effective.

I do enjoy the idea of Standard, and I intend to keep the deck built to play occasionally at Arkham and Beyond Comics when I am in the Frederick area. I realize that my potential time and effort going to GPs or any Opens are both zero, and I have frankly zero interest in doing so. I'd rather just enjoy my time in my local meta, playing for fun.

Modern and Legacy, however, are definitely formats I would like to break into. I have a built Modern deck, which I absolutely love to play. I plan to build Legacy Smallpox, a deck very similar to my Modern deck. I love the game of Magic overall, but until recently, I just struggled justifying the money associated with it. I already play an expensive hobby in Warhammer, and I am looking to move away from holding value in both.

I still intend to participate in the pre-release events and the release draft of Khans of Tarkir. The set has me really excited, especially for the fetch lands. Mardu Horde all the way! That Wingmate Roc will be mine!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thoughts On the New Grey Knight Codex

- Draigo moving to LoW is a slight bummer (based on current issues with LoW in tourneys), but it also requires an HQ on top of Draigo, which makes the points a problem potentially.
- Terminators became way cheaper. Potential there based on the points reduction.
- Psycannons moved to Salvo 2/4 (which I anticipated). Makes them less useful on Power armor bodies, but overall still useful.
- Psysilencer has the Force special rule, which will be devastating to a number of high wound models. Not very strong against Wraithknights or Riptides, but can easily do damage to multi-wound daemon models and tau crisis suits. Still unsure of which is better on a Power armor dude.
- Dreadknights are even better with a reduction in points for the teleporter and weapon upgrades. Gatling psysilencer has Force and 12 shots.
- Psybolt ammo is gone, but again that was anticipated.
- Dreadnoughts are more expensive for including the mastery level.
- Rhinos and Razorbacks are no longer psychic pilots.
- Purifiers seem like a potentially awesome unit. Fearless, ML 2, and Cleansing Flame base. Along with cheaper melee upgrades.
- Nemesis Force Weapons changed- Halberds give +1 S, Stave gives Adamantine Will.
- Some relics are good. Terminator armor with IWND, Feel No Pain seems awesome. Others are kinda meh.
- Warlord traits are awful in most circumstances.
- New formation has a lot of potential. "Beta" strike on first turn, can run and shoot after deep strike. Losing ObSec, but the damage and tactical issues are not to be ignored.
- Losing inquisition stuff wasn't a big deal; plenty of options that I never took and nobody did either. Internet likes to whine.
- Definitely a downgrade, but a codex closer in line to appropriate power levels. I feel pretty ok about the whole thing; I just want to formulate a list for October tourney and get shit painted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pokemon TCG: Nearly Complete

I have almost completed my Pokemon Card deck. The deck revolves Pyroar, with his ability intimidating mane. This means that he cannot be damaged by basic Pokemon, which includes ex-pokemon. Wow! 

The deck plays very slowly, with the intention of placing a brick wall in front of my opponent. Then, I build up slowly to then systematically kill easy targets. 

It has been a lot of fun to play, and I really enjoy the consistency of Pokemon cards. It makes for a more interesting game in most cases. I hope to continue play testing the deck and practice my skills with the game. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back in Black

Today, I was looking through some Legacy decks on StarCity's website, when I found a new Smallpox deck. It looked very similar to my Modern Infect/Pox, and it occurred to me that I could build a decently competitive Legacy deck for only about $75 (without Liliana of the Veil, which is $60 per card).

Looking at these decks reminded me of how much I enjoy the color Black in Magic. It was the color I was first drawn to. The art, mechanics, and the sheer brutality led me back.

Absorb Vis


Check these cards out! They look so cool! These were some of the first cards I collected back in my Freshman year of high school. While the cards may have changed, the appeal has not.

My new plan is thus: play Black in all formats.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The 300th Post!

As I look at my blog, I realize now that I have created 300 posts with this addition to the blog. I don't really think many read or see this blog, but I am OK with that. I attribute this blog to my improvement as an author, a communicator, and it has helped me to self-reflect.

I hope to improve my consistency of posting with the coming months. For those who do read, stick around with me on the next 300 posts!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Musings on Competition

I have been diligently reading StarCity Games articles from their select section for some time now. It has been some interesting reading, and it helps me to keep up with the game. 

One author, Danny West, wrote a piece on July 23rd about variance as a unnecessarily hated element of Magic. He saw it as the competitive chance for all who are involved in the larger tournament scene. So many variables means you can run hot and win big. 

I don't really see this as a true demonstration of skill or ability. I accept when I play at my FLGS that I may have really good luck through my games which are not a solid indicator of the deck or the pilot. The same is true for my opponents as well. In the end, card deck statistics and probabilties do not always demonstrate themselves well. 

I had a discussion with another Magic player about how simple or complex a deck can be. We agreed that the more choices involved, the harder the deck is to play. I agree with this metric. 

If you apply this metric to other games though, which is not hard to do, Magic is by far one of the least complex games. Warhammer of either flavor is more complex, as is League of Legends or DOTA 2. Both of these games then demonstrate real skill in their players. The best players do win consistently because they ARE the best. I don't see how the variance of Magic makes it a more competitive game. 

This is coming from a guy who plays multiple games, and I enjoy all of them. I love to game period. But it is easy for me to see that certain games are more competitive and a greater and more accurate demonstration of skill. This is what I like to see in competition. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

YU-GI-OH and Pokemon TCG

This past Wednesday, I participated in a YU-GI-OH constructed tournament. I brought a deck known as Battlin' Boxers, a deck of Warriors designed to interact together to summon multiple 4- star monsters in a turn. I had played Yu-gi-oh for quite some time previously, and I did enjoy the game then as well. The tournament was a good time, and I met some pretty cool dudes. I did not do very well really, as I was completely unprepared for the opposing decks. I found myself quite tired at the end of the night from reading small text and wracking my brain to understand the combinations that I saw. All in all, it was still really fun.

For Pokemon, I constructed a Fighting Type deck, with a number of different Pokemon and evolutions. It has been pretty fun to play, but there has been a major problem with the deck. On the second night of the Pokemon events, one player had brought out the top tournament deck to play. He has not yet lost a single game. This enormous jump in power level has made it hard to even consider playing in the events, even though I really had no intention of going full-bore competitive. I don't mind losing really, but I do mind not having fun.

I intend to keep up with both trading card games, but I am unsure of how it will go. Pokemon has an interesting rotation system that I don't fully understand, and I think once I do understand it fully, I will try to get more into the competitive circle of that game. Granted, my time will become more limited as I find myself busy with working and balancing several jobs, but I still hope to enjoy the games thoroughly. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

1850 PaladinStar


10 Paladins
- 4 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo

5 Strike Marines
- Psycannon
DT: Razorback
-Psybolt Ammo

5 Strike Marines

3 Psyflemen Dreads


5 Space Marines
- Meltagun

This list has a very simple strategy: Use Tigirius to guarantee Invisibilty and Draigo picks up Prescience. Paladins march across the board as an unstoppable Objective Secured Unit, with a psychic choir of Grey Knights. Grand Strategy makes the Dreadnoughts also Objective Secured. Thoughts?  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A New Discovery

I was unaware of the existence of a religious group known as the House of Aaron (my first name). The cross is actually quite interesting, and it may serve well as a symbol to include on my Grey Knight models.

Game of Thrones Board Game

One of the most fun pre-set territory games I have played. If you are a fan of the show or book series, you will like it even more.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Broken Record Perhaps... But I Have Left Facebook Again

The newest political turmoil of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case has really riled up the active and passive random people who want to spout their educated/uneducated thoughts about the issue. The vitriol that has passed through my news feed has led me back to the same conclusion: I don't want to keep this social media.

I have nearly 300 posts on my blog, and I feel like I have reaped a greater reward for it. I have improved my writing skills through practice, and I have been able to construct thoughts with the idea of a more public audience. I can do the same on Facebook, but it has led to nothing positive or constructive in 90% of the cases that come to mind.

So I say, "See you later, Facebook." Maybe I will fall to it's indescribable lure again, but I hope to not make this mistake again.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pokemon and YUGIOH

Arkham Games has now added Pokemon cards to it's repertoire of games supported. I had played the Game Boy Game many years ago, and I absolutely loved it. I bought a starter deck, and I am trying to create an all Fighting type deck. Regardless of its competitiveness, I really enjoy the fighting type Pokemon. I will be slowly working on a deck to participate in those events.

The YUGIOH crowd at Arkham has been really cool about helping me get into the game. A guy even helped me build a deck and is willing to sell me the cards. Awesome! I also played YUGIOH many years ago, and I enjoyed the game immensely.

I have this urge to be able to participate in any event throughout a given week. I already play the other games during the week, so now with an easy transition into both Pokemon and YUGIOH, I can play ALL THE GAMES! 

Ladder League Incoming

A miracle occurred a few days ago. The community for 40k at Arkham Games came to a strong collaboration on an event for the strengthening of the minis night. We threw some ideas and thoughts on a Facebook thread, and we came to a rousing conclusion. The positive thoughts and discussion were all constructive and meaningful, which was a pleasant change for all.

The community decided upon an Escalating Ladder League. A Ladder League requires each of the participants to be seeded in an order. The number 1 seed remains at the top of the League, while the others take lower spots. The lower seeds challenge higher seeds to switch places with them. As the players switch seeds, a sort of ranking is formed over the length of the event. The top seed is the winner at the conclusion of the league. The escalation refers to the increase of point totals as the league continues. The first month league, for example, would start at 500 points. The next month would increase to 1,000. This escalation will hopefully attract new players with a low-cost entry point for the event itself.

The fun part of this ladder league involves a raffle for half of the prize money dependent on playing games on the minis night. A person can win the raffle and earn some money to fund the hobby, and it brings people in on Thursdays to play 40k. Everyone wins. There is a structured event, the raffle and escalation should hopefully attract new blood, and the veterans have a chance to improve their play.

Overall, I am really excited for this event. I think this is the BEST solution for the issues the 40k community has been involved in. I can't wait to compete and see if this can bring in new members for the community.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Magic 2015 Core Set

The new reveals for the Magic Core Set have been absolutely awesome. I haven't seen cards this cool in quite a long while. I finally can figure out what I want to play in Standard and even lesser formats just to have a good time and even be competitive.

Here are some of my personal favorites from the reveals thus far:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Escalation of Power in 7ed

After playing one game of 7th edition, the game has not really changed much. There are some details that are nuanced in their nature, such as rolling weapon types at once, declaring jink and skyfire, but the important steps are mostly the same. 

My game yesterday featured a new addition to my Grey Knight force in the Stormraven. The mind strike missiles were the best weapon for knocking down a psyker, and I think it has some serious potential for handling the psyker heavy armies. In general throwing Draigo and paladins was a poor choice, but I was just looking to experiment with the model. 

A noteworthy part of the game was the caliber of list my opponent brought. As a newer player, his lists were in the earliest stages of development. After some advice, they have improved to be tournament worthy lists. This is a solid indicator for me as a 40k player to increase my level of competitive play. I have always enjoyed 40k at that high level of play, and I would like to return to it. As I play, my lists will hopefully improve and manage to become better over time.

I have a very slight concern for the negative responses to return, but I think the crowd has improved beyond that reaction. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Massacre

Played In an Apocalypse game on Memorial Day. It was a decent time, but I would have had more fun if I had some cool apoc-models to throw down. Instead, I made ballsy plays with my Grey Knights, and it was a blast.

Remember our troops. Laugh at this pic.

7ed Quick Review

I downloaded my 7ed copy Friday night. It was a fairly quick read as most of the information was simply from the previous book. This fact leads me directly into my review: it's 6.5. 

The biggest overall change comes in the psychic phase. There has been quite a lot of hype about it. Summoning tons of models, invisibility and other crazy powers have taken the internet by storm. For me, I find the psychic phase a nice balancing factor. It finally gives some real interplay between opponents and it adds a nice resource management element as well. It also makes both my daemon and grey knight armies quite happy to throw 12+ dice on the table. 

With some other minor improvements , the game has not changed much. There is still some discussion at the LGS about unbound and it's place. I feel that unbound should be for casual games only. We shall see how things go. 

Overall, 7th has me excited for my grey knights to rule the table with ALL the psychic dice :D 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Digital Edition of 40k

With the advent of the new edition of 40k on the way, it seems pretty clear the most effective method of purchase for me: Digital.

I know some gamers have expressed their hesitation at using a digital codex or ruleset. They are concerned about handling delicate equipment, the travel, and the lack of a nice book in their hand.

I recently found that my 6ed book had fallen apart. The pages had separated from the cover. This upset me greatly, considering it was a 75 dollar book. I don't really ever want that to happen again.

With a 60 dollar tag (25 bucks lower than the book), digitally accessible from my Kindle Fire and computer, I think this is the way I will go for the new edition.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Success with G/W Aggro

This past FNM, I went 4-0 and placed 1st with G/W aggro. This was the first time placing 4-0 at Arkham Games, and I was quite pleased with both my performance and the deck performance. Here is the deck list:

4 Dryad Militant
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Boon Satyr
4 Loxodon Smiter

1x Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1x Unflinching Courage
2x Banishing Light
2x Warrior's Lesson
4x Advent of the Wurm
4x Selesnya Charm
3x Call of the Conclave
4x Temple Garden
4x Temple of Plenty
7x Forest
7x Plain

After the event, I was able to trade for 1 more copy of Caller of the Pride, completing the deck to my current satisfaction.

There are some definite choices made in constructing this deck, and I feel fairly justified in making them. First, I opted for Dryad Militant instead of Experiment One in the interest of mana-fixing. As you may see, I am not running Mana Confluence (true to form of course). This means that I will be sacrificing some ability to cast a specific 1 drop into a G/W 2 drop. To accomplish a similar value, I play Dryad instead. You will also note that I am not playing Voice of Resurgence. This is due to the card being $25, which I am strictly not going to make $100 worth of value for a card that is rotating in the semi-near future. So, I have opted for Loxodon Smiter, which still provides significant value. It cannot be countered, and it is a 4/4 for 3. It also bumps the curve up slightly to still allow for me to not play Mana Confluence. The final choice I made was in the 3 mana Ajani. He is far superior in this aggro, creature heavy shell. Flying and double strike easily won me games.

I am still working on the number of Banishing Light that I need for the deck. 2 seemed to work fine, and the Warrior's Lessons have proven quite useful, easily drawing 2 cards in several match-ups. The mana curve worked out nicely, and I have a solid sideboard with Unflinching Courage and Mistcutter Hydra to deal with opposing Aggro and Control.

What do you think of the deck? 

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Edition?

The rumors are starting to come down the pipe concerning the newest edition of 40k.

I reserve judgement until I see the book for myself. Until then, I will not speak one way or the other on the rule-set.

Twilight Imperium

If you are a board game fanatic with an appreciation for the highest level of complexity possible and a thirst for galactic domination, this is the game for you. It's a strategy game that goes beyond Risk. It involves voting, politics, trade, technology, resource management and so much more.

I played a game yesterday (I have logged 30+ games of this 5-6 hour game), and I was victorious! Like any game with such a wide variety of options, possibilities and arrangements, the winner has to get just a little bit lucky. This is probably the most frustrating element of the game, but it can also be the most rewarding. 

I would highly recommend this game. It is a bit pricey for base game and the expansions, but it is completely worth it. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Competitive REL Magic

Today, I attended my first high level competitive Magic event held at Arkham Games.

I solidly did not enjoy my time during the event. I dropped after Round 4.

1. I decided last minute to play Mono-Red, a deck that I am very familiar with. I was really feeling the Mono-Green, but I went against my gut. This is, of course, the death of any serious decision I make. It turns out that I should have solidly played Mono-Green against Mono-Blue, Esper, and another Mono-Red deck.

2. I really do not enjoy the emphasis on allowing opponent's to miss triggers and play the game incorrectly. It frustrates me that the attitude is based on solidly taking complete advantage of your opponent. I have never really enjoyed gaming like that, and I don't think I ever will. This is the primary reason that I will stay out of that competitive level of Magic.

I think that I may wish to stick to just playing Friday Night Magic on a very casual level. The games are generally more fun, and I can relax and just play the game. I still have that competitive spirit for the game, as I do with any game, but I don't think I can enjoy myself in a game that encourages deceit through omission. It's a shame that the game reaches such a high level of legislation that this is the eventual result. I accept that it is what it is, but I do not wish to be a part of it. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Deck-Building Madness

So over these past few days, I have just gone into a deck-building madness. I have built 3 different mono-color aggro decks, with devotion mechanics running underneath each of them.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Another Facebook Hiatus...

I am once again away from the Facebook. I regret returning for another round of relentless refuse. How about that for an alliteration?

I hope to blog more because of this.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The End Draws Near...

As ominous as the title may be, it is actually created with the most positive thoughts in mind. I am nearing the end of my college career, and I will finally be moving into the real world! I have a couple odd jobs lined up for the time until I can find a more solid location to live.

As much as I have enjoyed college life, I am fairly glad to be through with it. I enjoy class, but I just have lost the enjoyment of being in such an awkward point in my life. Paying to work is not exactly a very fulfilling way to live for such a long period of time. But! I shall move forward with plans for the better :)

In gaming related news, the Journey into Nyx pre-release is swiftly arriving, and I am quite excited to participate. I am not 100% sure as to the impact the set will have on any of my decks in Standard, but I can solidly say that I have new ideas brewing. In addition, there have been some fantastic cards released out for my Modern deck (which requires a single copy of Inkmoth Nexus), and legacy burn is slowly (try snail's pace) coming together for any sort of potential legacy event.

40k has also been happening recently. About two weeks ago, there was another 40k Games Day event. I brought out the Tau for a spin. Once again, I am just astounded by the amount of firepower this army can wield. Even an overall weak unit in the Fire Warriors can unleash a hellish storm of ionized pain. I won 2 out of 3 of my games, and I took Best Sportsmanship! This is the third time I have been nominated Best Sportsmanship at a 40k event, and while people may see it as the Bunny Trophy, I'll take it. As Arkham Games 40k organizer, I like having that award more than anything. It shows that people enjoy my gaming, and it tells me that I have gained a certain respect. That's a rewarding feeling.

Computer gaming has taken a recent upswing. I have been playing a number of games that have been sitting on my Steam account for some time, including Dawn of War 2 and Starcraft 2. It has been fun to finally get around to these games and experience them for the first time.

I am also hoping that I can make a big time return to blogging. I love to write, and this allows me to explore that love on a more personal level.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Interest in the NOVA

After the last NOVA open, I was super excited to attend. I wasn't able to in the past year due to some extensive summer coursework, but I created a gamer goal to attend in 2014. I still have a great interest in attending, but I find the commitment even more daunting as a player. 

The speed of the data slate releases, along with the expansive nature of the materials, concerns me. In order to properly attend the NOVA, I have a few personal standards I would wish to meet. I would want to plan my list way in advance, in order to paint and play test the army extensively. Along with these goals, I would want to understand the entire gambit of the meta. Data slates make each of these goals extremely difficult to achieve with enough prep time for such an event as NOVA. Data slates can drastically change the meta and enemy army compositions in ways I could not fathom without the rules hitting public consumption. The list I may have just painstakingly constructed could be negated with a 10mb download. 

Normally, a tournament at a local game store would not prompt me to invest such a hefty amount of effort. I have had my share of wins and fun placing at small tournaments that I am personally satisfied. I do wish to make a break into GT level events, but I just am unsure if the NOVA is the right event for me. I will have to consult some of my 40k tournament buddies to see what they think, and I will need to evaluate my own expectations. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Smite: My Favorite MOBA

I have been playing Smite, a third person focus MOBA. It features gods from the major mythologies of the world. The objectives and game variants are similar to other MOBA games. The biggest change in Smite is the fact all abilities and auto-attacks are skill shots. 

This major change is the reason I like Smite. All sorts of heroes have passives with abilities that require various combos. However, it requires more active positioning, aiming and timing to succeed. Map awareness is even more important, due to the inability to see behind you. Every character has the potential to make a big impact on the game, and that makes any character an option. 

I love this game, and I would recommend it first compared to any other MOBA game. 

Draft: I Wish I Liked It More

A few weeks ago, I participated in a Born of the Gods and Theros draft. I wanted to see how the format worked and felt. I learned a bit from the draft, and I think the Theros block is pretty fun to draft. 

My issue with drafting at this point is this: I often feel like I'd prefer a constructed format. I open 3 packs, and I received nothing worthwhile. So, I spent 15 dollars for a series of four games with an interesting concept that I will never play again. I wish I could have more fun with the format, but I just don't. I may want to play one or two drafts a format to try it out, but overall I don't think draft is my thing. 

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 8

Year Two Thousand and Fourteen, month 2, day 22

The Thoughless began their continual assault on the forces of the violent Necrons. The mechanical beings were tough to defeat, but the forces of the Thoughtless proved too formidable for even the Canoptek Wraiths. They defeated them swiftly. 

Victory 8-4

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 7

Year Two Thousand and Fourteen, month 2, day 22

Teamed up with Blood Angel allies, the Angels of Impunity were fighting against the forces of Chaos. Communication lines were hampered, and the marines died in droves. The Chaos Iron Warriors held many special weapons and annihilated the Thoughtless. 

Defeat 3-5 

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 6

Year Two Thousand and Fourteen, month 2, day 22 

The Angels were met by the forces of the Blood Angels, led by Brother Corbulo. The group of terminators ran through many brave men and some Sororitas allies, but the relic was contained in the hands of some marines. 

Victory 4-2 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 5

Month 2 Day 22, Year Two Thousand and  Fourteen. 

The forces of the hated Iron Warriors legion were met by the Angels, and they were defeated. A massive daemon prince was held by the Thoughtless and defeated. 

Victory 5 vp - 1 vp 

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 4

Month 2, Day 19, Year Two Thousand and Fourteen 

Victory against Necrons! The immortal forces of the Necrons were phased out by the strength of the Thoughtless. They conceded all territory to the Angels.

Victory 7 vp to 2 vp. 

New phone and Birthday.

Today is my birthday! Among my life obligations, I have been enjoying more gaming as well. I'm testing out a new blogger app on a brand new iPhone, a much appreciated gift. I hope to post more soon. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 3

Year Two Thousand Fourteen, Day Five, Month 1
Mountainous Region of Oceania
Opponent: Space Wolves
Result: Defeat 4-7 VP

The Angels of Impunity and the legendary Bad Company were ambushed by members of the Space Wolves Chapter. Drop Pods fell from the sky and rained fire and lightning down on the fearsome Angels. The fight was bloody, but the Wolves ended victorious, driving back the sated Bad Company.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

DraigoWing 1,750


10x Paladins - 4x Psycannons, Brotherhood Banner, Warding Stave, mix of weapons, Psybolt Ammo
1x Paladin - Hammer
6x Warrior Acolytes

10x Interceptors - 2x Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo
10x Interceptors - 2x Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo

Thoughts on the list?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Angels of Impunity Battle Log 2

Year Two Thousand and Thirteen, Day 31, Month 12
Location: Terra, Mountainous Region
Enemy: Necrons and Daemons
Result: Defeat

Allied with Dark Angels Brethren, the Angels of Impunity deployed the infamous "Bad Company."  They landed with Assault Squads from the Dark Angels chapter, along with some support from tactical marines. Damion fought along side these men with the Death Company, and many Necron were slaughtered. A horrific Daemonic war-machine, however, blew apart his Battle Brothers, and they were all annihilated.