Monday, September 14, 2015

What I Learned From Observing Competitive Pokemon

I really wish I was kidding. I learned something watching competitive Pokemon, and it wasn't even about Pokemon or move sets or anything quite like that. It had everything to do with competitive games that feature a wide variety of choices a play can make ahead of engaging in the game. I'm essentially talking about "list-building" games.

A reader may ask why on Earth I was anywhere near competitive Pokemon. Truthfully, it was watching my brother on an online Pokemon team creator. Apparently, there are a lot more statistics involved in the newer generation Pokemon games, and this browser based program lets you create the ideal team. It is akin to having unlimited models, cards or more within various collectible games. Anyway, I watched at least a dozen games, and the only thought that passed my mind was the extremely aggressive and focused methods that were used to develop these Pokemon. it was all about having the best stats, best move-set and best abilities on these Pokemon. Much like the tricks and combos of Magic, Warhammer, or Age of Sigmar, these Pokemon were by all intents and purposes, broken within the context of the game.
It occurred to me that any game that can be manipulated within the confines of the system can create broken, overpowered, or unintended combinations of rules. It is the nature of creating rulesets and using those rulesets to compete against other rulesets. Even Pokemon, a game designed for young children obstentably, can be broken and stretched the limits of the normal expectations. It's an unavoidable phenomenon.

That being said, I think it is entirely up to the individual to determine the extent of their love for the game and enjoyment of the system played at the competitive level. I have often struggled with the conflicts that arise due to feelings of "overpowered" and "cheesy" arrangements, but in the end, I have come to a solid conclusion.

 At the end of the day, games are not often the mainstay of a person's life. Even professional gamers, who earn money and sustain themselves through playing this game at the competitive level, don't aspire only to be the best at the game. For many professional gamers, their careers are fairly short anyway, and they often pursue more than just these games. But really, applying this lifestyle to the majority is a bit of a fallacy anyway. We are talking about the mass majority of participants.

Gamers should really just choose what they play based on their enjoyment of the game. I tire of the constant complaining about the nature of the game as it stands, whatever the game may be. Instead of complaining, change your game. If you are genuinely not having fun, don't play the game. For those that have invested into the game financially and feel compelled to play based on money, you need to try and move past that feeling. Truthfully, it is a bit of fallacy in many cases that one is compelled to play based on the money put in. Logically, at one point, the money was spent and enjoyment was gained. If now, there is no enjoyment, don't spend any more money and cut your losses. Sell your cards, sell your models, or otherwise liquidate your investment. All fun worth having in life tends to cost money anyway; that is the nature of our lives.
Instead of continuing to be miserable, move on and find a new source of happiness.

Complaining is a symptom of apathy, and apathy is not helpful to you or others.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Heroes of the Storm- Slowly But Surely



As my long time readers are sure to know, I am a big fan of the MOBA genre. I enjoy the competition, the style of game, and the fast paced action that no other genre can bring.

For the longest time, League of Legends was my go-to MOBA of choice. In light of recent changes and updates to the game though, I am finding myself becoming bored with the game. The meta changes at the drop of a pin, games now consistently last 40 minutes, and the game now focuses around being tanky or sating a devourer. For me, the game has become stale, stagnant, and frankly, it brings out the worst in people. The community is toxic to an extreme, and it has not shown any signs of getting better.

With the advent of Heroes of the Storm, however, I finally have a MOBA that satisfies all of my desires in a game. Slowly but surely, it is winning me over to the Blizzard side of the genre.

Heroes of the Storm, for those that may not know, is a MOBA that focuses on the main characters of the three hallmark IPs of Blizzard. This means that we see Jim Raynor butting heads with Malfurion, or Tychus fighting Diablo. The heroes have 4-5 abilities that they use to wage war against their enemies, utilizing mercenaries and other map based objectives to reach the final goal: a destroyed core.

The trick to Heroes is the speed of the gameplay. The laning phase is short, the team fight phase is short, and the end game is short. Games, at their longest, go up to 40 minutes. There are no items or last hits. It's all about the objectives in order to win.

The Heroes are all fairly unique, with their own flavor and fun thrown in. In addition, the Hero level system rewards players for using that character, through skins and mount variations. Playing the Heroes also gives cool portraits and other bonuses. New content comes out constantly, but the balance level is never really altered in such drastic ways as League does. The in game currency is also much easier to gather due to quests and other bonuses for leveling an account. There are fewer characters, at this time, but it appears that Blizzard has plenty coming down the pipe.

The community is way less toxic than League. There is a lower amount of risk/reward in the game play, and the competitive scene has not taken a stranglehold on the game. There is a lot less communication in the game, but the ping system is perfectly usable for most of all issues. There are still occasional assholes, but with the additions of AFKs or leavers being replaced by bots, the impact is far less negative compared to League.

Finally, it has the infrastructure and support system of Blizzard, which is formidable and strong to say the least. I have rarely had issues with client, bugs, or latency issues; the same certainly can not be said for League.

Blizzard has done what they are best at: creating an accessible and entertaining game that changes the landscape of the genre. I would hardly ever recommend that someone play League of Legends, unless that person is a competitive and hardy gamer. Heroes, however, I think is fun for veterans and newcomers alike. It is a game I strongly recommend to anyone interested in breaking into the genre without the prospect of constant bickering and negativity.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The State of This Blog

I am in an interesting predicament regarding this blog, known as Rarkthor's Hold.

For the longest time, it was simply a means to record thoughts, Battle Reports, and pictures of my hobby progress. At a certain point, it was no more than a digital record of my own written word. It was something I looked at as a reference to events I had attended in the past, some pictures of old armies, and talks with old friends.

A few months ago, I looked into blogging seriously, with the intention of making some money from ad revenue. I did quite a lot of research, and I landed a few contributor spots on big time blogs. My time with BOLS was short, due to a greater opportunity from talkwargaming.com

Unfortunately, neither blog has really helped to generate much revenue here on Rarkthor's Hold. This doesn't bother me too terribly, but I had hoped for something more.

At this point, any wargaming articles that I might compose go directly to Talkwargaming.com as the audience is much bigger. This blog has become more personal, hearkening back to its original purpose: a place for a nerd's thoughts and feelings on a wide variety of topics.

For those few audience members that take a look at my blog, you'll be happy to see an increase in my contribution to talkwargaming. I intend to post some of my less wargame oriented thoughts here.

Thanks for sticking with me. It seems my journey is always turning and twisting.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why Magic: The Gathering is Slowly Losing Its Grip On Me




Howdy Readers!

I apologize for being away for so long. I wish I could say it is due to a hectic schedule or something legitimate, but truthfully, it is due to my interests being primarily in video games, the most fun of time sinks. I may talk about some of those experiences in a later blog post.

Recently, I had been looking into playing Magic again. I took my time from the game, and I had thought perhaps it was time to give it another shot. I played a few times over this summer, and I had been, for the most part, enjoying my time.

To continue to sate this desire, I picked up Magic Duels, the software Wizards has marketed as a fun way to get into their game digitally. They have really changed the focus of the game with quests, an in-game currency system, and a focus on deck building outside of the Story Mode. The changes seem very similar to Hearthstone for those familiar with that game.

Some of my first encounters with Magic Duels have been very fun, and I like the software. What I had forgotten about was the resource system of Magic. I absolutely HATE the mana and land system of Magic. It creates games that feature very little interaction between opponents based purely on the Random Number Generator of cards. I do not feel good about winning because my opponent did not draw enough lands or too many lands. That is, in no way a demonstration of my own skill.

Hearthstone has demonstrated that games that feature a more consistent resource system can be fun, challenging, and competitive. It seems to me that Magic's system is becoming more antiquated with every competing TCG and LCG release. I'll keep playing Magic Duels, since it is a no cost alternative, but I find myself steering clear of playing Magic outside of FNM. EDH is fun when played casually, so I'll be keeping around a few decks.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Some Time Away

Greetings Readers!

I have been off on vacation for the past few weeks, enjoying time with family and friends. Along with this vacation, I have completed my 40k purge!

I feel great about this reduction still, and I can't wait to finish some other hobby projects. I have been slowly finishing the cleanup in my hobby room, and once that happens, I'll be back to the old grind.

Stay tuned in! I'm still here, and I'll be posting very soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Banner!

Check out the new banner! I had it custom made by a friend, Jen Lesher. She did a fantastic job, and I really appreciate it! Shout out to Jen!

If you like this banner, take a look at some of her other work at the link below.
https://www.behance.net/JenLesher

Monday, June 8, 2015

An Ironic Reinvigoration

As you saw in a previous post, I have been selling models like an absolute fiend. With the auctions due to close soon, I am pretty happy with the amount of money I have collected from these models. A number of the models were given to me for free, and a number of other models were bought for extremely low prices. I am pretty sure I have reached profit on the models, but I am not sure (or care really) about the margin. I got my use and enjoyment out of them, and that is all that matters.

In an ironic turn though, I have found myself increasingly motivated to model and paint the armies I do have left. I have Grey Knights, Tau, and Daemons left still, and I have intentions of creating lists and fully painted armies for all three.

I am still working on the specifics of the lists, but so far, I have been really interested in getting the Grey Knights off the ground. I have been throwing around some ideas for lists, which scale from friendly fun games to competitive kick-ass lists. In any event, it seems that the lower amount of models and projects to get off the ground has given me the hobby bug once more.

If this liquidation of models has done anything for me, I am glad that it has inspired me again. As I had mentioned, the recent barrage of new rules has left the competitive 40k player in me feeling lost and confused. Now, with fewer armies and models to deal with, I can at least focus on the hobby aspects and get some enjoyment out of that.

Tune in for some picture of progress. I have still the Tau to prepare for the 500 point limit for the second month of the Crit Hit escalation league. I also am hoping to attend an Arkham 1850 tournament, depending on my personal schedule. I'll most likely bring Grey Knights of some kind to the event.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ebay Lots Up!

As I have mentioned, I have been working toward reducing some of my models and collections. I finally took the plunge into the world of Ebay, and I made three separate auctions.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321771777928?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321771763651?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321771744910?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

I have an auction for Orks, Dark Eldar, and Space Marines. If you are interested, place a bid! Any questions, please feel free to ask here as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Contemplation about the Game of Warhammer 40,000

My blogging has slowed to a halt recently. There are multiple factors that can be attributed to this reduction in blogging, but a major factor can be pointed out as the primary "demotivator:" the rapid release schedule of Warhammer 40k along with the crazy high power level of Eldar.

I have written several blog posts concerning competitive Magic: The Gathering, and I find myself in a similar mindset regarding 40k now. As many folks are aware, competitive Magic often requires the purchase of new cards. Even for decks that are Modern or Legacy legal, new cards are released to shake up the meta. Even if the deck you play doesn't require the new card, you may have to readjust to fight this new combo. This, to me, is not very appealing from a hobby or competitive perspective. I'll be totally upfront: I don't WANT to spend the money for new cards. I am not motivated to spend that amount of money to compete in a game that is, at a certain point, based on a RNG.

Magic's release schedule is rather tame compared to the onslaught we are seeing from 40k. Holy shit, 3-4 months seems like an eternity compared to the rapid release schedule from GW. If I struggle to motivate myself to learn, adjust, and purchase new stuff for Magic, just to keep competitive, why on earth would I want to subject myself to the same misery in 40k? Normally, it would be for my love of 40k, which I still feel very strongly about the game.

At this moment though, I struggle to justify owning so many 40k models and rules. Granted, a great majority of what I owned was bought on the cheap/free, so the monetary investment is less of a concern. But in the same way that I collected Magic cards in the effort of "modifying/building" future decks, I found myself doing the same for 40k. I have TONS of models that I don't anticipate using any time soon. If I were a regular GT goer, with the time, money, and drive to compete, then I would hold onto my models. Now though, I struggle to see myself enjoying the competition any longer.

With that in mind, I am trying to consider what to do with the stuff I have now. How should I go about consolidating my collection into an amount I am happy with? Please feel free to comment and let me know what YOU think is best.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Makings of an Escalation League



I am excited to announce that I will be coordinating an Escalation League held at Crit Hit Comics and Games in the near future! This month will be another Kill Team Tournament, but the points will escalate from there. Here is the proposed escalation as of right now: 


M1: Kill Team

M2: 1-3 Troops, 1 HQ, 500 points, Eternal War Missions (Since they are a bit easier than Maelstrom of War missions to measure and such).
M3: 2-3 troops, 1-2 HQ, 750 points, Eternal War Missions

M4: 2-4 troops, 1-2 HQ, 0-1 Elite, 1000 points, maelstrom of war missions.
M5: 2-5 troops, 1-2 HQ, 0-2 Elite, 0-1 Fast, 1250 points, maelstrom of war missions.
M6: 2-6 troops, 1-2 HQ, 0-3 Elite, 0-2 Fast, 0-1 Heavy Support or Lord of War, 1500 points, maelstrom of war missions

Each event will be scored separately. We are still discussing Sportsmanship and Painting judging at this time.

If you would be so kind as to place your votes on the poll I have to the right hand side, I would appreciate it! I want to get some input from readers as to what I should play.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Beauty of Kill Team

This past weekend, I played in a quick Kill Team tournament at Crit Hit Comics and Games in Princeton, WV. It was a total blast! This was my first event at Crit Hit, and it was my first coordinated event in quite a while. The community of guys was great, and I had three quick fun, bloody games.

For those who don't know, Kill Team games are built of about 200 points of models from the Elites, Troops or Fast Attack sections of a single codex. From there, each model works individually, operating each as a separate unit. Furthermore, one of the models is upgraded to a Leader, who gains a Leader Trait similar to a Warlord. From there, the general nominates 3 models to be Specialists. The Specialists gain an extra special rule from the main rulebook. The game is played on a 4'x4' table with lots of terrain on the table.

The games are extremely short, lasting about 30-40 minutes. Time is not an issue with a Kill Team event, since there are so few models being moved around. All of my games lasted about 30 minutes, and I had brought about 10 Marines to the table.
In a somewhat surprising turn, the Kill Team event ran very smoothly in terms of the rules. It was mostly taken directly from the GW source material, and it worked very well. There were really only 1 or 2 rules discussions from these differences. The missions played pretty easily, and we even had a totally new player pick up the game right there.

This event was totally perfect for the slowly resurrecting 40k community at Crit Hit. Some of the guys were even able to bring multiple kill teams to try and encourage some new players to join in the fun. That was awesome. I am really looking forward to more events at Crit Hit!

Rarkthor's Response: Community Comp

Recently, through some advertising on the part of Bell of Lost Souls, I came to find the Community Comp website and packet. While I have seen a wide variety of comp styles in the past, I rarely see one as detailed and thorough as this one. I will give credit where credit is due; these gentlemen really took the time to evaluate the codicies and other rules set and attribute point values for their inclusion in army lists.

In the simplest way I can explain the system, units and wargear deemed to be over the top or excessive in power level have been attributed point values based on a number of criteria. Sometimes the criteria is a matter of certain armor values or unit types like Flying Monstrous Creatures. The criteria is sometimes codex level, with specific units and relics being targeted as too powerful. All of these points lead to a army power level determined by these metrics. According to the designers of Community Comp, tournament level lists approximately earn 8-12 points, with 20 being the cap. The designers also encourage the spending of points, but they also include a metric to convert these point scores into an overall Comp score for a tournament.

This is where I take issue. I do not mind comp systems, as I find it gives my brain a nice little workout to create a different list that falls within this set of rules. I, of course, still want to build a list that functions well together and can compete with the best, but I accept that some limitations to make another person happy is OK. It is, however, an issue when someone brings a list that intends to take advantage of the comp system points for a higher lead overall in the tournament. I strongly believe that a comp score should be a very small impact or perhaps even reserved as a tiebreaker. At that point, I find that a player bringing a less powerful list and doing well is worth breaking the tie. This feeling is very similar to my stance on Best Sportsman. In case of a tie, I feel that the person with a lower record is deserving of the prize. It is a positive quality to win with class, but perhaps an even greater positive quality to lose with class.

The 40k community that is slowly being revived in the Southern West Virginia area has suggested using this packet for larger point 40k events. This seems OK, if a majority of the community wants to see this packet being used. The crowd, however, at Arkham Games would likely not change much if the comp packet was being used. In my mind then, why use the packet if the community is already happy with the status of the game? For the folks in Australia, it seems that this Community Comp helped to revitalize tournaments in their area of the globe. This is great! I don't know if I believe it would solve much of the attendance issues at Arkham.

My final concern is one of metas and the complaining of the player base. As a Tournament Organizer, I have definitely felt the repercussions of an unhappy tournament goer's experience. In some cases, the complaints were legitimate issues. In a majority of the time, it was a matter of personal preference or some gripe that the attendee had with the system or an opponent. The Comp system, in my mind, would need to serve as an effective solution to these concerns. Effective, in my mind, would be a reduction of complaints regarding imbalance by at least 50%. I really truly doubt that more than 50% of the complaints would be resolved by implementing this system. In fact, I think it would create new complaints concerning an altered and artificial meta, along with complaints of overall restrictions being placed on their models.

I will add this caveat. We will not know for a fact unless we try, and I accept that as a truth of the matter. I do think though that through the human power of foresight and forward thinking, this would not be a solution I would want to implement currently in either of the 40k groups to which I belong. This may be changing soon with the advance of Eldar and some crazy combinations afforded in that book, but at this time, Community Comp is not where I'd like to be.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Battle Report: Grey Knights/Legion of the Damned vs. Necrons

As promised, here is the second Battle Report! Let's get into it!

My list is here http://rarkthorshold.blogspot.com/2015/02/crazy-wombo-combo.html

This is my first game against the new Necrons, and my long time 40k buddy Leigh brought out a tough ass list. Jump in the deep end! His list was:

Detachment 1: CAD Destroyer Lord w/ 2+ save relic, warscythe, res orb, 4+ invuln 2x6 Immortals w/ gauss 1x10 Lychguard w/ warscythe

Detachment 2: Royal Court Obyron Zandrek Orikan

Detachment 3 and 4: 2 Canoptek Harvests 1 spyder 3 scarabs 5 wraiths w/ whip coils

Detachment 5: Officio Assassanorum Detachment 1 culexus assassin

Holy shit, I was in for a treat. I love a challenge, and Leigh brought it. 

We arrived at the Hobbytown USA in Frederick, MD to play our game. Fair warning to those in the Frederick area: Hobbytown has felt tables and chairs, but absolutely no terrain. The table space is free, but sadly, no terrain makes it a worthless venture. Luckily, Leigh and I had lots of extra vehicles to provide some wreckage for some terrain. It worked out OK in the end, but I still scratch my head as to why the tables but no terrain... moving on!

We rolled up Hammer and Anvil deployment with 4 Objectives. Zandrek was Leigh's Warlord, and the Librarian was my Warlord. I rolled on Santic for Psychic powers, picking up Cleansing Flame, Gate of Infinity, and Sanctuary (was hoping for the Vortex of Doom to power through some RP saves).



Leigh took first turn and deployed his forces in a strong cluster in the center of the board. The Immortals remained in reserves. All of the characters went into the Lychguard squad, making one horrifying deathstar. I deployed 2 Dreadknights, and Leigh infiltrated his Culexus near one of the Dreadknights.

Turn 1 (Leigh)
Leigh chose RP for the Canoptek formations. He spread out into the center of the board, and established a strong presence. The Culexus fired off a few shots at the Dreadknight, taking a wound.

Turn 1 (Rarkthor)
I landed 1 Terminator squad into Leigh's deployment zone and took some shots at the Wraiths. The Dreadknights wiffed hard at the Culexus, but still managed to get a wound or two in.

Turn 2 (Leigh)
Leigh continued to advance in the middle, screening up with the Wraiths and the Scarabs. One of the Immortal squads came on from the board edge. The Culexus attempted to charge one of the Dreadknights, but failed the charge range.

Turn 2 (Rarkthor)
I managed to get 1 Legion squad and the Librarian's Terminator squad onto the table. Once again, the Libby's unit Deep Strike mishapped. I initially rolled a 1 for the chart, but Leigh was gracious enough to make the roll a two (maybe I should just get my glasses checked >.>). He placed the Terminator squad very near his Lychguard unit, assured to meet their doom. Between the remaining Terminator squad, the Libby's unit, and the Legion, I was able to wipe out the Immortals for first blood. I was also able to kill the Culexus, although the assassin's presence prevented a power or two for the inevitable Wraith charge.

Turn 3 (Leigh)
Last squad of Immortals walk on in. Sure enough, the Lychguard unit charges and demolishes the Librarian's unit in close combat. Between the Lord, Oberyon, and the Warscythes, the unit put out about 25 wounds at S7 AP 2. Damn. Scarabs tried to charge the Legion squad, but failed.

Turn 3 (Rarkthor)
I landed in the final Terminator squad and both Legion squads. The Terminator squad deviated a bit too close to the Lychguard unit, again to their death. Shooting phase consisted of killing the Immortal squad, and the Dreadknights prepping to double team a Wraith unit. Sadly, one of the Dreadknights bit the dust early in the fight, leaving the other one to stand tall against the soon to be Shred Wraiths.

Turn 4 (Leigh)
Second Wraith unit charges my Dreadknight. Scarabs get into combat with the Legion squads, and a Spyder into the other squad. Lychguard krunk another Terminator squad, and the Legion and Scarabs derp about in the corners. The Dreadknight stands firm against Wraiths, thanks to Sanctuary.

Turn 4 (Rarkthor)
Stormraven comes on, and shoots up a Spyder, hoping to take away the formation bonus. No luck. Legion eventually fight off one scarab unit, and try to make a dash for an objective. The other squad is pinned by bugs. Dreadknight keeps on fighting.

Turn 5 (Leigh)
Lychguard move slowly and try to get to another objective, but do not make it. Wraiths destroy the Dreadknight, but do not consolidate far enough for an objective. Scarabs and Spyder don't kill off the Legion squad.

Turn 5 (Rarkthor)
With possibly one turn left, I try to make some plays for objectives. Legion does not kill enough Scarabs. I use the Stormraven to deny one objective with the base, hoping for maybe another turn to reverse the downward turn. Sadly the game ends.

Leigh has one objective and I have none. Leigh earned Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker. I had First Blood and Linebreaker. 5-2 Victory for Leigh!


That game was rough, and it was most likely not going to improve. I should not have charged the Dreadknights that turn. I should have taken a few more shots before engaging a weaker Wraith squad.

I had intended to play a bit more cagey and use my flexible deployment to avoid fighting as best as possible. Sadly, Deep Strike deviation did not aid me in this. Between Wraiths and Scarabs, Leigh's army has some decent mobility, and good units to take on Legion.

Holy shit, the Lychguard squad was insane. I tried to engage that unit as little as possible and focus on the killable elements. Again, some poor Deep Strike placement and some overconfidence in the Dreadknights ability to kill Wraiths did not help this.

Thanks for the game Leigh! Well fought. The Necron book has some pretty sick tools at its disposal.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Battle Report: Grey Knights/Legion of the Damned vs. Blood Angels



Over the past weekend, I had the great fortune to play not one, but TWO games of Warhammer 40,000 with some former competitors at Arkham Games. This is the first of two Battle Reports.

Lists
I took this list http://rarkthorshold.blogspot.com/2015/02/crazy-wombo-combo.html against Kyle's Blood Angels build. His list was the following:

Blood Angels (Flesh Tearers Detachment)

Angel's Fury Spearhead Force
Stormraven with Plasma Cannon and Heavy Bolter
2x Stormraven with Assault Cannon and Multi-Melta
3x10 man Tactical Squads with Flamer and Heavy Flamer

2 Librarians, ML3 (One had the improved psychic casting wargear). They both took Daemonology powers.

2x Death Company Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods

5x Scouts in a Drop Pod

We rolled up Dawn of War with Purge the Alien as the mission type. My Librarian was the Warlord, and his trait was totally irrelevant due to a deep strike mishap! Kyle had one of his Librarians as the Warlord, also with an unused Warlord Trait.

My Librarian took Divination powers, that did nearly nothing!

Kyle had 1st turn.

DeploymentKyle hid his librarians behind some thick ruined buildings, with nothing else deployed. I deployed nothing.

Turn 1 (Kyle)

Kyle flew on his Three Stormravens, which had no targets whatsoever. He attempted to summon some daemons, but he had no success. He also dropped down 2 Dreadnoughts.

Turn 1 (Rarkthor)
I deep struck with my Eldar for a turn power, landing 1 Terminator Squad (the Librarian's squad did not come in) and both of my Dreadknights. I shot one of the Librarians up a bit, leaving him with 1 wound. The Dreadknight shot the Dreadnought in the back, immobilizing it.

Turn 2 (Kyle)
The Stormravens flew around shooting up my units. They did not do a lot of damage, killing one or two Terminators, and landing a wound on a Dreadknight. One of the Librarians managed to get out a squad of Pink Horrors, who then rolled the Greater Daemon summoning power. The other Librarian also managed to get out a squad of Pink Horrors.

Turn 2 (Rarkthor)
The Librarian squad came in, along with 2 Legion of the Damned squads. Librarian's squad Deep Strike mishapped, and was placed by Kyle in the far corner of my deployment zone. The Legion Squads landed behind Dreadnoughts. The shooting from the Psisilencer Dreadknight killed the 1 wound Librarian, gaining me First Blood and a Kill Point. The combined shooting at the Dreadnought wrecked it, and severely damaged the other. The Warlord Librarian was left with two wounds, and I charged it with Terminators. No damage on the first round of combat.

Turn 3 (Kyle)
Scout drop pod landed in a far ruin, trying to find safety. One Stormraven went into hover mode and landed the Tactical Squad out by a Legion Squad. One Pink Horrors squad summoned a Bloodthirster onto the table. More shooting from Stormravens whittled away at Dreadknights and Terminators. Librarian died in combat that turn. Slay the Warlord and another Kill Point. I also gained a kill point from a dead Pink Horrors squad who slipped into the warp. The tacticals charged a Legion squad, and began what Kyle and I referred to as "The Combat of the Derps." They each hacked at one another, killing a guy a piece for about 4 combat rounds. 

Turn 3 (Rarkthor)
My last Legion Squad, last Terminator Squad, and the Stormraven came onto the table. Lots of shooting happened, killing the second Pink Horror Squad, the second Dreadnought, and killing the empty Stormraven in Hover Mode. More derp combat.

Turn 4( Kyle)
Kyle dropped another Tactical Squad into the fresh Legion squad. More Stormraven zooming and shooting, with some aerial combat thrown in. A Dreadknight bit the dust, and the Bloodthirster landed by some Terminators, ready to fight. I had managed to get them Hammerhanded up, but no Force :( Bloodthirster wrecks them in combat, netting Kyle a Kill Point. More derpy combat.

Turn 4 (Rarkthor) My shooting manages to kill the Scout squad. I move the Librarian unit into hiding. More derpy combat, and general running away from a giant Bloodthirster.

Turn 5 (Kyle)
Kyle drops the final Tactical Squad to try and reinforce the derp combat. More shooting, takes out a few more Terminators, netting him another Kill Point. Some missed charges, and the Legion escape the derp combat, with two guys left.

Turn 5 (Rarkthor)
The Dreadknight shunts away from the Bloodthirster, landing for Linebreaker. The Librarian and Terminators manage to stay hidden. The remaining Legion take a few more Blood Angels with them.

In the final turn, it was mainly in the clean-up stages with a few combats left. The Bloodthirster flew over to attack the surviving Dreadknight, but no dice. Game ends with my victory 12-4.

   





Some lasting impressions of the game:

Deep Strike Mishap Sucks. I need to Deep Strike a bit more carefully. The Battle Focus on landing is really key though.

Omega Deployment is very good against the Turn 1 Assault Blood Angels build. It really leaves the Dreads and Stormravens with nothing to do. Luckily, I landed both Dreadknights down, or I would have been screwed.

Kill Points was not a very favorable game for Kyle. He, at a point, needed to table me in order to win. Luckily, Shunting Dreadknights, Hidden Librarians help with that.

I feel that we both brought solid lists that were built around a concept. The issue I saw with both of the lists is that if the concept fell through, the army fell through as well. It's much like playing a combo deck in Magic. If the combo works, awesome! If not... the game is uphill for sure.

Thank you very much for the game Kyle! I hope to see you at NOVA kicking some butt!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hobby Progress: Angels of Impunity (Centurions, Tacticals, and a Terminator)

Slowly, but surely, I have been settling into my new home. After a thorough clean of my hobby room, I took some time to hobby! I have quite a number of unbuilt models for a few different armies. I focused on Space Marines this past week, building a few of these bad boys:




I actually had quite a lot of fun with the Centurion kit. Who knew a Space Marine within a Space Marine would be so intriguing? I, of course, outfitted them with Missile Launchers and Grav Guns. I built all out of the kit. HOWEVER, I was left with exactly three of this sprue:

So... 6 Lascannon bits, 6 Heavy Bolters, 6 Meltaguns, and 6 flamers are left, along with some neat bits I could use for other projects. Talk about a value kit! I love it.

In other news, I have been working to arrange a new gaming group in Southern West Virginia. We have a Facebook group here, if you are interested https://www.facebook.com/groups/371039396417073/

The group is still in its infancy, but we are looking to expand a bit with our efforts. Who knows where it will go from here? 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

20,000 Views AND First Post on BoLS

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2015/03/3-reasons-why-you-should-play-scyrah.html

Several things to celebrate in my newly reinvigorated blogging career:

1. I had my first article posted on Bell of Lost Souls. The link is at the top.
2. Partly due to the first article and other traffic sources, I have reached 20,000 views on the blog!. Granted, that is over 5 whole years of existence, but the past month has seen nearly 1,200 alone. Excited!
3. I am looking to attend more 40k GTs in the near future to add some content onto the blog. We shall see as time winds on.

Join me in the journey. It'll be fun!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Comparative Analysis of Games Workshop and Riot Games Part 1: Game Design



This article is the first of a series I am composing on these two games.

I was considering the other day the popularity of these two games, the design philosophies, the competition, and furthermore, the communities that gather behind these two games. Some of these elements are extremely similar and worth discussing. It may give some insight into these two games.

Part 1. Design Philosophy
I have been a part of the community for both games for a very long time, playing 40k for about 10 years and League for about 5. I have seen a great deal of evolution by both companies, and I have reaped the benefits and downsides. Let's look at the similarities of both, and compare them in somewhat even terms.

Comparatively, Games Workshop designs Codices and Army Books that have wargear, rules, and more to play an army on the tabletop versus other armies. It is intended to be a 1v1 type of game, with competition as perhaps a sidebar element to the narrative elements of the game.

League of Legends is a game that is part of the MOBA genre, featuring teams of 5 players controlling champions, established characters with 4 abilities and a passive. These characters earn gold over time and purchase items to increase their power.

Now, both of these games have to work to balance two major elements, which I refer to as internal balance and external balance.

Internal balance of Games Workshop games involves units within the codex being comparatively good to each other. Unit X should be as useful/effective as Unit Y assuming they serve a similar function within the game mechanics.  Internal balance of League of Legends comes from the math to create abilities and items. Bloodthirster should grant X Attack Damage with X Life Steal. Garen's Judgement ability should deal X damage.

External balance in both games refers to how the units interact with other codices and how champions and items interact with other champions and items. Certain units in Games Workshop games nullify major strategies of other codices in terms of the very math. A certain Armor Value can not be penetrated, and a certain Toughness value cannot be wounded. The missions in Games Workshop games also provide a source of external balance. Units become better or worse dependent on how they must achieve victory. In League, the items and characters can be impacted similarly, but to a lesser extent. It will just offer a significant advantage rather than a out and out negation of the opponent's strategy.

Games Workshop's Struggle With Balance
Games Workshop struggles with balance of both types. Often new codices appear with units that are just leaps and bounds better than other units within the codex. Eldar Wave Serpent is just so much better than the Falcon, based on its point values and rules. Players can choose to play either vehicle, but in the end, even the most novice of players can see the discrepancy. Because of this, the external balance fails as well. The Wave Serpent is so effective against a wide range of the opposing armies that it sees a tremendous amount of play. It serves to see then, that regardless of the mission or the opponent, the sheer strength of the Wave Serpent can really benefit the player immensely. A lower skill player can overcome an opponent with higher skill.

Riot Games's Struggle With Balance
League then also suffers from the same sort of balance problems. Sometimes, the designers release a Champion that just does not do enough damage. They then need to readjust their numbers to be more suitable for the environment. The same is true of items as well. A new item can be released and just allow champions to do horrific amounts of damage. Any scaling ability in League can be affected by this misappropriation in numbers and values. There was a time in League that Diana ruled the map. She just did so much damage that she was unstoppable. She was fixed eventually, but it required a few changes to get right. It then allowed lower skill players to win against a higher skill player based on the champion selected.

See the comparison?

Balance Issues Due to Evolution/Identity 
Both game companies struggle to maintain balance; this we have established. I think that both companies suffer from these issues due to at least one similar reason. The game design philosophies change so often and so drastically at times.

Games Workshop releases new editions of the rules for their systems. This changes the game from the base up, affecting armies and units ubiquitously. Riot releases patches that change many elements of the game, from towers to the jungle. These changes affecting the game and all of its items and champions. From there then, both companies play catch up in reducing power levels and increasing power levels based on the "new edition" that surrounds the internally balanced elements.

But of course, neither company stops the design of the game there. As businesses, they need to release new internal units, which of course draw customers and consumers.

However, due to the timing of their releases, they then create some "time warp." Suddenly, this unit from Q Codex is not the only one with this ability. Suddenly, this character has this ability! As new units and champions come out, the older additions become out-dated, less effective, and less unique over time. This then leads to codices like 5ed Dark Eldar in 7ed, and champions in League like Urgot. Both companies then struggle to simultaneously maintain their previous elements and create new ones, often creating imbalance and overall non-functional elements within their games.

The evolution also seems to create some disparities in the external balance as well. Why should a Wraithknight have super awesome guns AND close combat ability? Some design evolution later, and the Nemesis Dreadknight has decent guns with exceptional close combat. League suffers similarly. Why does Nocturne have a high engage, spell shield, attack steroid, sustain and flexibility in terms of laning/jungling? Then enters Bard that has only one damaging ability, a heal, utility and a non-damaging ultimate. Suddenly, the champion design is drastically different and then creates champions that must be in one role and have no other function.

The final point to make is a question of the unit/champion's identity. As game designers and artists, it is hard to sacrifice creative children. Kassadin, as a champion, should have the ability to warp across the map dealing high magic damage and taking less in return. This is how his story and champion identity work. The Wave Serpent, as an ancient and powerful technology of a sagacious alien race should wreck Space Marines and protect their troops very effectively. That is how the story goes. At some point though, game designers must realize that the "fluff" just can't sustain the game design in a healthy way. Eventually, the designers rework the ideas to be a bit more reasonable, but at the loss of a creation.

Stay tuned for my next article on the Competitive elements of these games. Parts 3 and 4 will feature some comparison on business model and the community.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rarkthor's Response: Army Composition Fixes Part 1

http://www.torrentoffire.com/6756/army-composition-fixes-part-1


As usual, Torrent of Fire posted a very intriguing article regarding the author's perceived need to fix the system by which people generate their armies at list building. I applaud the author's encouragement of discussion and disclaimer against a flame war, which he establishes early. This discussion will certainly require some meaningful back and forth, and I'm glad the author values this.

The philosophy student in me recognizing some flaws from the beginning of this article. It begs several questions that the author seems to have already given the answer for. Are the rules right out of 7ed unplayable? Has the "rock-paper-scissors" imbalance increased? Are fluffy players lashing out against those willing to use the established rules?

Regardless of these questions, I am willing to accept the author's stated premises and move forward analyzing the solution.

The author defines more terms before expounding upon his solution.

The solution put forth involves percentages to affect the composition of armies in terms of their detachments. Unlike the Fantasy Army building, the author just applies this concept to the detachments. So my Primary Detachment must be 55% up to 100%, and the Secondary Detachment can only be up to 45%.



This solution, according to the author achieves several goals. He states that the positive aspects of this solution include (as stated in his article):
Pros:
- Very scalable
- Affects everyone equally
- Cuts down on deathstars, Imperial Knights, and big formations in lower point games.
- Brings the FOC into better alignment with fluff. “My ally represents 80% of my army is silly”
- Creates an effective limit on detachments without a fixed number limit
- Objective
- Very limited change

I will agree with this author in terms of the idea of scale-ability, with a limited and objective change. I disagree though that the FOC would be better brought into alignment with fluff and cuts down on deathstars.

I feel that some codices, due to their nature, would still benefit from this. This is particularly true of Deathstar armies that don't require an extra detachment, like Screamerstar or Jetseer. I also can easily imagine a smart player negotiating the points just right in order to include that one extra character and a Troop for an allied detachment. It doesn't strike me as a solution in that regard.

In addition, I think using "fluff" as a justification for a good change is not appropriate. Due to the nature of a fantastic world with aliens and genetic supermen, I think it is justifiable for an army to include an ally that may range into higher points. For example, I absolutely love Grey Knights. It would certainly NOT be unfluffy for a Grand Master, who is the commander (read: Warlord , to be in charge of a massive Imperial Guard force. Even though, he only has 10 Grey Knights by he side, how is that not fluffy?
I admire the work to try and reach a solution that is more appreciated by all, but I think that this idea loses once it gets into the nitty-gritty details of what needs to be happen. I don't see how this solution is any better than LVO (which featured a wide variety of armies and compositions for the top8) or NOVA format. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Struggle to Play Magic

Ah Magic: The Gathering. It has been one of the most fun games I have played, and it has been one of the least fun games I have played. Every so often, I fall deep into the arms of Magic, invest in a ton of cards, build a deck, and play as much as possible. After reaching a "peak" of enjoyment, my enthusiasm wanes away again into nothing.

In this seemingly endless wave of enjoyment cycles, Dragons of Tarkir, the newest set, does have me excited. There are a number of really interesting cards and mechanics looking to break into a new Magic meta. (I'll post some of the cards I am most looking forward to at the end of the post. )

To "get myself ready" for the prerelease events, I started playing some Magic 2014, a digital adaptation of the game for console and PC. In this particular iteration of the game, there was a mode called "sealed deck builder." Prerelease events are traditionally sealed events, which give players six packs to construct a 40 card deck.

I started playing a few games in the sealed deck builder mode, and I was swiftly reminded of the infuriating nature of the Magic mana system. While the mana system enables a wide variety of strategies and unique decks to be constructed, it also can be wildly inconsistent based on the randomness of cards. I was running into the very annoying parts of this particular RNG, and it reminded me how frustrating Magic really can be. It was no error of play on my part; it was the randomness affecting me.

Some may say that 40k is a dice game, and it is prone to the same issues. To this I say one thing: a good 40k general controls the randomness to the best of his/her ability. Magic has very little outside of the deck building that a player can control to keep themselves in good shape.

Perhaps what is more frustrating often in the physical card game is the sheer investment of money to then lose to card randomness. This is a frustration that I have yet to overcome. I look forward to the days that I can simply move past these issues and find enjoyment in the game alone.

With this, I am still contemplating the decision to play in the Dragons of Tarkir pre-release. I will certainly post about it if I do!

As promised, here are cards I find powerful, exciting, or just interesting. Magic players, what do you think?









NOVA Open Plans in the Works

For those who have been reading my blog for some time, it has been one of my gaming goals to attend a high population gaming convention and compete in some of the events! My original goal was to attend the NOVA Open Grand Tournament, but some other obligations have come up (Sorry, 40k, can't miss one of my best friends' wedding!)

In spite of this, I am planning to attend Thursday and Friday, competing in the Trios Tournament and some of the Highlander "Quickening" events. I have never really played the Highlander format before, but it seems like a very fun way to play the game! I think I will bring out Grey Knights for these events. The Trios missions and events still seem to be in some transition in terms of the rules and list building, so I'll bide my time on that.

Please let me know if you are attending NOVA this year! I also want to try and make the event a social time, branching out and meeting new people. I am looking to try and blog much more seriously in the coming months, and I think NOVA would be a great place to network!

I'll post a highlander list in the near future for some critique. Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Focus

For those who may be new readers, I thought it would be worth trying to establish an idea of the purpose of this blog.

I am a gamer through and through. For many of us, this doesn't limit our wide view of the gaming world. While I do enjoy Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy and the other tabletop wargames, this does not mean I only enjoy those games alone.

I want to use this blog to spread my thoughts, feelings, rants, and more to the silent world of the Internet. While I have become a new contributor to the Bell of Lost Souls website, I do not wish to give up my independent writing here. I started this blog for myself as a way to express, and I want to maintain that goal.

Hopefully, you will join me for the ride. Follow me on Google+ and keep a look out for articles posted on Bell of Lost Souls. Those articles will focus on my wargaming, but I'll still post some articles here. The Writing Bug is a fickle creature, and it should not be ignored when it bites.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bell of Lost Souls Contributing Author!

A few days ago, Bell of Lost Souls posted an open application for some contributing writers to join their staff. I was interested in applying, but I thought there were perhaps more qualified applicants. I took a shot anyway.

Today, I received an email from Larry Vela, the head editor, and he was happy to give me a chance! Soon, I'll be a writer for Bell of Lost Souls!

I am curious as to where then this blog will go, but stay tuned readers. It may get even better!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rarkthor's Response: Gamer Culture and Competition

http://whiskey40k.blogspot.com/2015/03/according-to-internets-football-is-not.html

This Rarkthor's Response is less of a direct response to Mike Brandt's post, but it is more musings on a question that arose from my reading the article.

Mike Brandt, in his own way, did an excellent job of explaining the issues in claiming that 40k is not a competitive game. His comparison to Football really made it clear just how silly the complaints are. It's a good read, and if you feel similarly, you should definitely give it a look.

After reading Brandt's post, I delved deeper into my own experiences concerning competitive gaming, and I reached an unsettling conclusion: All competitive games have a naysayer community somewhere deep inside them.

In every single video, board, card, or tabletop game that I have played with any amount of popularity and element of competitiveness, the negativity comes flying out, particularly from the most competitive of people. Those who hate to lose often find reasons why they shouldn't have lost. These people, at least ones who value social efficacy and friendship don't want to blame the person across from them. Then, the easiest person to blame becomes the creator of the game.

Riot, Wizards, and Games Workshop all receive a lot of heat for their business and game design decisions, and some of these complaints are justifiable. Some of the complaints, however, are not even close.

Do not mistake complaints for criticism; criticism is based on constructive and helpful analysis with a focus on a solution. Complaints, in a word, refers to just plain bitching.

The toxic gamers I have met are toxic in every game they play. It is not a matter of the one game and all of its inadequacies bringing out the worst in that person. A reasonable person would then simply stop playing that game. Really, it is their attitude that ruins the game for them. This leaves those of us, who love the game and wish to improve ourselves and the game, feeling crummy that our fun was ruined by their toxicity.  

Gamer culture really needs to take a turn for the better before this behavior ends. I certainly strive to find improvements within my own play and strategy before blaming something out of my control. I think that healthy competition needs to be taught and modeled, if we are to see change.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rarkthor's Response: Is or Was 40k EVER Competitive?

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2015/02/editorial-40k-ever-competitive.html

Let me start this response article by stating one important caveat: I absolutely love the game of Warhammer 40,000. I really and truly do. It's one of the few games that has solidly held my attention since I saw it being played at the young age of thirteen. This love and appreciation, then naturally, affects my opinions greatly, and I acknowledge this.

The article really does call into question then the nature of a competitive game. The definitions people used for competitive vary greatly, and this is something I have touched on a few times myself on this blog.

This author, Auticus, narrows down what he feels about the competitiveness of a game. He essentially feels that a competitive game has a very specific set of rules and standards that are used to measure the competitor skill. Auticus gives a good number of examples of competitions that go even farther in terms of standardization, including wrestling and boxing with the idea of weight divisions. To this author, Warhammer 40k lacks the competitiveness due to the potential for a heavyweight to take on a lightweight fighter.

While it is true that folks may see the game of 40k differently, I think that a tournament clearly calls for a higher scope of play. If folks don't want to run into Leafblower, don't enter the tournament. In a sense, people are willing to agree to a set of standards for winning and losing, and they are attempting to demonstrate their skills. Is this not the foundation of competition?

Yes, the rules need some help and tweaks. Honestly, as long as people want to compete at 40k, it stands to be a competitive game.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rarkthor's Response: Las Vegas Open

http://bloodofkittens.com/blog/2015/02/23/tits-tournaments-las-vegas-open-2015-top-lists/

So, for all of the 40k tournament enthusiasts, many of you know that the Las Vegas Open concluded on February 22nd, with Tyranids as the victors! I posted a link to the Top 8 lists above, and I wanted to remark on a few of the lists and comments made by Tastey Taste on the lists on the players.

First of all, I am not surprised that a 3 Flyrant list made the Top 8, and furthermore, I am not surprised that it was able to win. The new Shield of Baal supplements, formations, and detachments really helped push the Tyranids to the next tier of competitiveness. Nayden has been doing well with Lictors previous to the release of these supplements, and a good player took the supplements to the next level. Congratulations on the victory!

The Space Marine list though really surprised me. Scouts in Drop Pods, with Devestators, Centurions along with... Blood Angels? Holy cow! I am still investigating some of the intricacies of the list, but it seems like a very tactical and cagey kind of list. Not my style, but I can not ignore the results. Awesome.

Only 1 Eldar player made the top 8, with only 4 Wave Serpents. I am also surprised by the lack of Wraithknights, but the Lynx seems pretty cool in its stead! Large D blast is not something to shake a stick at.

You know, some of the fluff bunnies will complain about Nanavati's use of an Inquisitor along with his daemons... but Chaos can corrupt all.. (except my beloved Grey Knights of course).

Hey look Chaos Space Marines! Whoa! Well, we already knew the Brass Scorpion of Khorne was good. It seems the player used the Daemons to help generate more scoring units to ensure that points lost to the scorpion were made up elsewhere. Makes sense overall. I still would have liked to see mono-CSM, but I don't think it could be.

Aaron Albert, however, takes the cake for a list that I have been working on myself for quite some time. Grey Knights Centurionstar with 3 NDKs. I'm glad to see that a list I built previously has to potential to win big events. I feel much more confident in attending the NOVA this summer. We shall see if that is the list I take or not.

Overall, I would LOVE to go out to the LVO next year. Vegas provides more than just fun for me as the Warhammer nerd, but it could make an awesome vacation place! I do enjoy the occasional casino trip, and what better place than Vegas! Still looking to the NOVA as a possible GT, but I am sorta waiting for the final decisions as to the event rules and regulations.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Anime Rarkthor Recommends: Sword Art Online

I know I haven't spoken much about anime and manga in the past, but I really do enjoy the creative nature of the works.

Movies and Television shows have access to a tremendous amount of graphic alteration and special effects that just were not present in the past. Anime is able to transcend those limits and create characters and plots that go beyond just a normal fantasy or science fiction show. Manga is closer to Western comic books and graphic novels, and we sorta already know the limitation and capacities.

I want to do a series on various anime that I have enjoyed viewing and would recommend to others for viewing. The first anime is a series called Sword Art Online.



Without ruining too much of the plot, Sword Art Online is a series that delves into the realm of VRMMORPGs (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). The game becomes extremely serious once the creator announces that logging out is impossible, and in-game death will cause real life death. The main character, Kirito, now has to take on the lead to help save the rest of the players.

The anime takes on more than just the action/adventure of the game; it delves into some real issues with reality versus virtual reality. It does have elements of romance which, for some, is a turn-off, but I felt it was very well developed in terms of the feelings and emotions created between the characters.

I enjoy this anime thoroughly, and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crazy Wombo Combo

Thoughts on this list? Should be 1850. 

Nemesis Strike Formation (Deep Strike T1 shenanigans.)


Librarian
Curiass and ML 3

5 Terminators
Psycannon, 2 Halberds

5 Terminators
Psycannon, 2 Halberds

5 Terminators
Psycannon. 1 Halberd

Nemesis Dreadknight
Teleporter, Heavy Incinerator, Heavy Psycannon

Nemesis Dreadknight
Teleporter, Heavy Psycannon, Gatling Psysilencer

Storm Raven
Hurricane Bolters

Legion of the Damned Detachment

3x 5 Legion of the Damned
Combi-Melta, Meltagun, Mult-Melta

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pictures from a 40k Game!

40k pictures incoming!

My buddy Rob and I have been working slowly on making a 40k table in my new place. We have been working with some clay to create some decent terrain. Yesterday, we decided to play a game. It also was the first time using the Galaxy Themed FAT mat. I was concerned about the use of the game for 40k, but Rob and I adapted the idea to a floating debris and "alternate planescape" (Think Outlands from World of Warcraft). The terrain seemed to work well for the scope of the models. Some of the barricades were perhaps a little bit, but I think it worked out well enough in the end.

Recently, I acquired a decently sized Ork army (Thanks Bro!), and I wanted to give them a shot on the table top. Not a whole lot of paint has gotten onto these guys, but hey, let's see how it goes. Thoughts on Orks:
1. They still hit with a lot of shots and attacks. Not much changed there.
2. The Mob Rule is a boon and a burden. It can keep your squads around a little longer to fight, but they sorta hemorrhage dudes as the game goes on.
3. Nobs are pretty cool.
4. Trukks and Kans are still super fragile, but perhaps worth the points for their purposes.
5. Lootas are still good.
6. I really want to try Stormboyz; I think they have potential.

I tried taking pictures on my Kindle, so the quality may be sorta meh. It was super convenient in terms of transferring onto my computer, which is a plus.

Pictures!



Monday, January 19, 2015

New Game Store (Sorta)

This past Saturday, I took a trip out to see Lost Legion, the game store I had found when I first came down to McDowell County about solidifying this job. Come to find out, the store has been replaced!

The store is now called Crit Hit Comics & Games in Princeton WV. Let me tell you, they made a huge improvement! Some rearranging and a new coat of paint made the place look brand new! The folks at the counter were extremely friendly, and they seemed very willing to work with the gaming communities!

https://www.facebook.com/CritHitComics

I posted the link to their Facebook page here. They also have a website, but it seems to be in the building phase.

http://crithit.net/

I may be running some tournaments here in the near future, so check it out!

Terrain and Table Top



With the move to the new place, I have an entire room for hobby and gaming. It's a pretty small little bedroom, but it fits a table and some extra space perfectly!

My friend Rob is a crafty fellow, and he has a ton of sculpy that we have used to make some terrain. He made these two pieces you see above, placed on top of the awesome FAT mat I bought for the table. We are slowly working on other terrain pieces, and surprisingly, clay works out pretty well! It is also significantly cheaper than plastic terrain pieces.

I've always wanted to have my own 40k table again. Slowly, but surely, it will happen!