Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saturday Warmachine Tournament post

So, yeah, it took me from Saturday to now to get this post put into order... And it still isn't very orderly ;)

Regardless, what I'll do here is post my lists, what I faced, a general overview of each battle and maybe some things that I learned. Theoretically, that should make this post interesting to someone somewhere out there.

First, I guess I ought to describe the general tournament style and atmosphere (ambiance, if you will, lol). I made a pilgrimage down to the store the Thursday before the tournament to get a feel for what it might be like/get the actual tournament rules. Usually, I would have been in my krav maga/MMA classes, but I've had a leg injury for the past 2 weeks, so rolling dice and moving figures is about as far as my semi-crippled ass could take physical activity ;)

The tournament was semi-Steamroller. By that, I mean the TO had taken some of the scenarios from Steamroller, but the format was much more relaxed. You could bring 2 35 point lists to choose between for each game, however, they could be the same 'caster if you wanted. Also, the turns weren't timed like they would be in an official event. I never had any problem finishing a game in the allotted time, so I don't feel like it was an issue. Everyone seemed pretty nice/laidback, although I heard some people had tendencies to get a little nasty while they played. I didn't run into that at all, and I had 3 excellent opponents.

Ok, so first up, I oughta toss out my two lists. I massively over thought things and brought 2 lists that, in retrospect, I am not happy with. However, I wouldn't have learned I didn't like them if I hadn't played them, so it was still good. Really an excellent learning experience.

"Rahn Love Arcnodes"

Adeptis Rahn Shyeel (*6pts)
* Chimera (6pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Arcanist (1pts)

This list was by far the more solid of the 2, at least from what I faced. The Chimera has done fuck all in every game in which I have ever fielded it, and I am almost completely convinced that Retribution lights aren't worth shit. The Sentinels and the Phoenix are what made this list work.

"Kaelyssa's Double Phoenix"

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper (*7pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Mage Hunter Assassin (2pts)

I like the idea of this list, but I found that it lacked a lot of hitting power, especially against Hordes lists. Since that was all I played against in the tournament, obviously this list didn't do what I wanted.

Game 1

So, I got matched up with my opponent (a guy named Matt) and we picked a table. He can see my army all laid out on a piece of board for easy carrying, so I ask him what he's brought. Legion of Everblight. In some ways good, as I am relatively familiar with their pieces since I own a bit of the force. Mostly bad, as I take one look at his 2 lists and see that he has a list that I just can't do shit about. A Tier eLylyth list that relies on Stealth, the one thing Retribution is known to have some issues with. Great.

His list is:

epic Lylyth - Ravens of War
Points: 34/35
Tiers: 2
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (*5pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician (0pts)
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician (3pts)

The scenario is one in which there are 3 objectives evenly spaced across the center of the board. Each player turn starting in Player 2's turn 2, a player gets 1 point per objective held. 7 points to win. After both player's Turn 1, one of the objectives disappears.

He sets up Lylyth and beasts in the center with each group of Striders aimed at the outlying objective. I gamble and set up to claim only 2 objectives, hoping that holding the far objective will tie down some of his forces while I engage the rest. I start running up the board while he advances and puts stealth up on his beasts. The side objective I was aiming at disappears, meaning I have to adjust course. My MHSF and the Strider engage, with the Striders able to take the edge due to Reform moves. Lylyth Feats, and Bolt Throwers put a hurting on one of my Phoenixes (the other is tied up killing Striders near where an objective used to be) and Kaelyssa. Kaelyssa survives and uses her True Sight to get a bead on the Stealthy Lylyth, bringing her down to 1 hit box. Lylyth lives long enough to sink a fatal arrow into Kaelyssa.

Here, I really just got rolled by an army that is basically tailor made to fuck me over. Sucks, but that kind of thing happens a bit in Warmachine. It would have also helped if I'd had more competent melee threats outside of my Phoenixes. Then, I would have just rushed him and cut his guys down. Even his beasts would roll over in combat. I probably should have taken the Rahn list and rammed Sentinels down his throat.

Game 2

Next match up is against a really nice guy named Scott and his spectacularly painted Circle army. He ended up winning best painted for the day, so they were really nice.

He had:
Baldur the Stonecleaver (*6pts)
* Megalith (11pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
* Woldwarden (9pts)
Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) (3pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2pts)
Lord of the Feast (4pts)

The scenario was as follows. You could get 1 point for each turn that you could control a central area (only your models in it, no enemies) while your caster stood off on a little marker something like 8"-10" away. Seeing that, I chose Rahn's list because he has a 16" control area, allowing my Myrmidons to engage the center more easily.

With basically a Spearhead type deployment, he and I deployed and then started moving our pieces up. He advance almost everything towards the center and warped Baldur over to the point he needed to stand on with the help of magical forest generation. Rahn cast Polarity Shield on the MHSF, which kept them from being charged by models in their front arc, which Sylys allowed me to upkeep for free for the entire game. Then, the MHSF and the Sentinels slid over to the side, with the MHSF intent on going after Baldur and the Sentinels intent on charging into combat after staying just out of my opponent's charge range for a few turns. Since he had next to no shooting, I brought the Chimera and Phoenix into range to start dropping shots on people before the inevitable melee.

Here's where my opponent's biggest problems surfaced. Baldur has a control range of 12", which meant his beasts could just barely get into the center area and stay in range to be forced. This led to a couple of turns of the MHSF using Phantom Seeker rounds from behind obstacles to irritate him while my stuff shot at him and he couldn't close. Finally, he gave up on the mission and moved Baldur forward to engage. He junked my Chimera with one beast, but Rahn used an Arced Telekinesis to spin it before my Phoenix bashed it to death. The Sentinels and their Vengeance took down the Megalith and then Baldur, which let me win the game.

To me, this game highlighted 2 things. Rahn is awesome against casters who have no choice but to deal with his magic because they can't shut it down. With Telekinesis, Force Hammer, Chain Blast and Polarity Shield, he can generate damage and frustrate the opponent by playing with them. Infantry is awesome in Warmachine and Hordes because it allows you to threaten the opponent in places where you can't reach with your beasts or jacks. I never really got infantry before, but now I understand their utility.

Game 3

So, for this game, I am once more matched up against Legion of Everblight. I sigh a sad sigh of resignation. The guy was a great opponent named Joe, and he had a superbly painted army. He was the other real contender besides my previous opponent for best painted.

His list was:
Rhyas - Alpha Strike
Tiers: 2
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight (*6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bayal, Hound of Everblight (3pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)

The scenario was 2 large boxes in the center of the board. Starting on Player 2's Turn 2, you scored 1 point for contesting a box and 2 points for controlling a box. I used the Kaelyssa list again because I wanted to figure out if it was any good at all. Also, so much infantry looked like a treat for my Phoenixes to combust in the middle of ;)

I don't really have much to say except that he damn near crushed me very quickly but held back long enough to max his bonus points. He's practicing for Adepticon, so I don't blame him in any way for that, and it wasn't bad. I was just totally outmatched in every way.

So, that was the end of my tournament play for the day. I definitely did better than expected, as I won a game and almost took the first one (one damage box! one!). I expected to lose all of them, so it was nice to actually get in my first victory with Retribution. I'm starting to get a feel for them, but I haven't wrapped my head around them completely yet.

Game 4

My buddy Jacob (the guy who managed to convince me to get back into Warmachine) had showed up during the tournament but hadn't played in it, so we played a game afterwards for fun.

I brought this:
Adeptis Rahn Shyeel (*6pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)

He brought:
Iron Lich Asphyxious (*6pts)
* Cankerworm (5pts)
* Deathripper (4pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Corruptor (8pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

Again, lots of Stealth was a bit frustrating for my elfs, but I managed to drop a few guys by drifting AOEs on to them. I managed to knock out the Corruptor's gun early with my Snipers before the Cankerworm just wrecked my shit. Rahn managed to Force Hammer Tartarus into the Skarlock, killing the Skarlock and damaging Tartarus before the Feat turn ruined my Sentinels. The remaining few Sentinels killed Tartarus, and we called the game before the Bane Thralls actually got a chance to chop Rahn into minced elf ;)

Overall, a very fun day. I've still got a lot to learn about the Retribution and how they play. I picked up Ossyan and some Halberdiers, which takes me to damn near everything I want for the force barring some additional solos and maybe a second unit of Stormfall Archers (until the new jacks appear, of course).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Treating your hobby like a hobby 2

Ok. So... I have definitely come to some conclusions about the questions I posed almost rhetorically in the previous article with this same picture. Some of them are things that can definitely be applied to everyone, and some of them are things that are maybe only applicable to me. I guess we'll see.

So, for those of you who didn't read the previous article (or who read it and have bad memory, like me ;)...) the question that I posed was this (basically): How do I enjoy the hobby and cut out that frustration and anger that most all of us feel to some degree.

Well, here's where I let you in on a little known secret of blogging. Something like 90% of my writing stems from stuff that happens to me. I could probably call that just a writer's secret, since I also did the same thing when I wrote for print publications.

This week, I played a bunch of games of Warmachine (a bunch being defined in this case as like 5). I played every single game with my Retribution of Scyrah army, to which I have become pretty spectacularly attached. So attached that I actually sat down and read all the background material I could find on the army. This is something which I have never felt prompted to do with any other Warmachine faction. I can only compare this to my fairly intense love for several factions in other games (40k and Malifaux being the key examples).

I lost all but one of these games. Yet, I didn't walk away feeling upset or frustrated. I didn't feel angry. I had fun playing the game, even when I was getting my ass handed directly to me after having it sliced off and seared. How?

Well, part of it was definitely my attitude. I went into the games with a lowered expectation of how I'd do, so I didn't put my ego down on the table with my models. That's something I think a lot of us do when we play, whether we plan to or not. After we've spent so much time carefully tweaking lists and painting models, we expect that we deserve to eke out a win, especially if we play against an obviously inferior list or a swarm of grey models who've never even heard of primer. We know, somewhere instinctual, that all the effort we've put forth means we've already earned that glorious, glorious victory.

Problem is: This is a dice based game, my friends, and nothing is ever certain.

So, really, I had to make a conscious decision that I was going out to play as opposed to going out to win. And when I say that, I don't say it as an indictment against anyone. I really don't believe that we consciously set out with the attitude that we're gonna win every game, but I think that's where we end up after we've put so much into our armies. And I know that it takes a conscious effort to overcome that innate feeling.

Ruminating on this made me think back to this year's NOVA Open and some of the games I played there. I lost almost all of my games of Malifaux in the 30 point tournament and was very frustrated. I had brought my best master, my best pieces, my best plans and still I lost. I got so frustrated because I knew I was supposed to win those games. The lists across from me just weren't as good, and I knew I could beat them. And yet I lost.

That's where the frustration came from: the divergence of what I knew and what actually happened. Cognitive dissonance, we might call it ;)

And when I really think about it, that's probably where a lot of my personal frustration with 40k comes from. Maybe it's where a lot of other people's frustrations with the game come from as well. However, I think I get such an intense feeling of anger and frustration with 40k as opposed to other games because with 40k, it's not just the individual game that I know the outcome of, it's the very design of the game itself.

I know what I want 40k to be. I want the game to be balanced so that every faction is good and has an equal chance to win in every single match-up. I want the game to be an exercise of tactical acumen where skill and good play can overcome "power" builds or the luck of the dice. I want there to be a decent level of depth to how the game plays. I want... lots of things, and every time that I play, I am forced to try and reconcile these desires that are always present in my mind with the reality that the game is a sloppily put together exercise in selling models put together by apathetic designers who have an entirely different vision of what makes an interesting game than I do.

So. Really the answer to my question of how to treat the hobby like a hobby is this: You have to constantly remind yourself of what you're doing and why you're doing it.

For me, I'm playing these games to exercise my mind and to relax and have a good time with some similar minded people. That's the end goal. I'm not out to win some major sports championship and net myself a lot of money. I'm not really fighting any kind of war. I'm playing a game. My goal is to have fun.

Now, that said, there are some things that can remove that fun no matter what mindset you approach a game with. Poor game design that leads to immense imbalances is one that I really have problems with. "Why did the designers even give you these options? They're not any damn good, no matter how cool the models are!" Another one is unsporting opponents or unpleasant opponents. I'm sure I don't need to give examples there ;) There are plenty of other ways as well. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to that part. Personally, I try to always remember one of my rules: "You can only control yourself." However, even that doesn't always help.

So, really, I'm not entirely sure that I've come up with an acceptable solution at all. I know that I certainly don't feel as if I'm done pontificating on this subject quite yet, so I suppose I ought to tell everyone to expect a trilogy ;)

Side note: For anyone interested, I will be doing a post detailing the games I played in the recent Warmachine tournament. Theoretically, it should be next. The main stumbling block has been trying to remember exactly what each of my opponents had because my dumb ass didn't write it down at the time ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Retribution of Scyrah pictures and prospective lists

Ok, so here's a look at most of my painted Retribution of Scyrah force so far. Those of you familiar with Warmachine may recognize the Phoenix Heavy Myrmidon alongside Discordia the character Heavy Myrmidon lead by Warcasters Ravyn the Eternal Light and Master Arcanist Rahn Shyeel and accompanied by a squad of House Shyeel Battle Mages, a Magister, an Arcanist, a Ghost Sniper and Eiryss the Angel of Retribution. For those of you not familiar with Warmachine, just smile at the pretty pictures (and lament that I should have a light box by now but don't...) ;)

Not pictured are two Light Myrmidons (a Griffon and Chimera) as well as a squad of Stormfall Archers and a squad of Dawnguard Invictors with their unit attachment. On the painting table are a squad of Dawnguard Sentinels with their UA, a squad of Mage Hunters with their UA, a Mage Hunter Assassin, a second Ghost Sniper, Sylys Wyshnaylrr (seriously, fuck that name), Eiryss the Mage Hunter of Ios, Kaelyssa Night's Whisper, Dawnlord Vyros and Garryth the Blade of Retribution. I also have 2 additional Heavy Myrmidon kits that I'm working ever so slowly on magnetizing.

Unlike the last time I got into Warmachine, I have a strategy for my purchases. I like to have all the Warcasters/Warlocks available to my faction. Even if I don't like to play with them, most of them are decent enough models that I don't mind owning and painting them. I want to have one of each of the available light 'jacks and at least one of each of the heavy 'jacks (although here, I'm looking at Discordia, 2 Phoenixes, 2 Hydra/Manticore magna-jacks and then the Huse Vyre stuff when it comes out). I'd also like to have a single copy of most of the units (I actually like the look of the units in this faction after hating the look of infantry in WM/H in general) with their UA and 2 of most of the solos. I'd consider multiples of the smaller units like the Mages and Archers, but with bigger units I just don't see myself ever fielding more than one of any of them, really.

Anyways, that's all just so many words into the wind. Who knows what I'll really do, since I'm enjoying the hell out of painting some elves and I've got several months of bar study ahead...

So, right now, I've got a couple of lists as possibilities for this weekend. Both that I will put here are lead by Ravyn, as I think she's relatively easy to understand compared to some of the other casters. I may work on a Kaelyssa list or two if I get everything else I want painted done and have time to knock her out as well.

Ravyn, Eternal Light (*6pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Invictors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
* Dawnguard Invictor Officer & Standard (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Mage Hunter Assassin (2pts)

Ravyn, Eternal Light (*6pts)
* Manticore (8pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Stormfall Archers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)

So far, I've found the Retribution lights to be less than compelling while the heavies are nice but seemingly not terribly durable. The units seem solid, so I have been featuring them heavily in my lists. Retribution seems to lean less heavily on the synergy factor than other armies. Stuff tends to be fairly self-sufficient, although it can always be buffed by spells to be made better, of course.

Anyways, I don't know if any of my readers (beyond Von, of course) have any Warmachine (specifically Retribution) experience, so I have no idea if anyone will take a look at these lists for a "Yay" or "Nay." Still, I plan to continue to tinker and rummage through the Privateer Press forums (despite the crapshoot that all forums can be).

Yeah. Ok. Now I've got to finish some more elfs and continue to coalesce my thoughts for more thoughtful articles ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Treating your hobby like a hobby

Caution: This post may be filled with introspection. Tread carefully ;)

Sometimes, especially after I take a break from gaming for a while, I come back with a different perspective on the whole thing and some new kind of enlightenment about how I want to pursue this hobby. This blog is the result of one such revelation. Sadly, this article is not.

I have recently found myself thinking quite a bit about the hobby and my place in it and the enjoyment I derive from it... or sometimes the lack thereof.

And there's where I find myself with a bit of a sticking point. Hobbies are pretty much supposed to be fun. Sure, sometimes the things you do start to feel a bit like work (like when you're on Guardsman/Ork/Termagant #20 of 200), but overall the purpose of a hobby is enjoyment. At least that's what I've always kind of been told and assumed.

So why is it that I (and many others) can get so very serious and so very upset about aspects of the hobby? Why have I seen so many people throw down dice or models and walk away from a table with a grimace on their face and blood pressure rising? And (most of all) why the hell is this so damn normal that we don't freak out about it more?

Part of the equation I can almost immediately explain. We get invested in our hobbies. And when we get so invested in something, it decidedly has the potential to play with your emotions. I mean, hell, I was super pissed when I read the new Sisters of Battle White Dwarfing. I got frustrated when Grey Knights came out right after my beloved Dark Eldar and made mockery of all I hold dear. I've even gotten irritable a few times in casual games!

Yeah. Hobbies are something that we do for enjoyment, something that we invest a lot of ourselves into. That, then creates the potential for anger and disappointment when things don't work out the way that we'd like.

Now, that's kind of the thing that feels weird to me. Why do we continue to gripe and moan and be miserable dealing with the aspects of the hobby that make us upset? Why in the hell aren't we a bit more proactive in trying to find some enjoyment in the hobby? I mean, tabletop gamers as a group tend to be able to really pull off some amazing shit when you think about it. In order to play a game, we spend possibly hundreds of hours constructing and painting an army. Then, of course, there's the time we spend learning the rules and building terrain and doing all the other stuff necessary to make that game happen. Yet somehow we just can't figure out a way to deal with the aspects of our hobby that we dislike other than compulsively bitching?

Sure, for some, complaining is just something they enjoy. Yeah, you know that dude, the one who swears that everything was better back in the early 90s when everything was metal and awful looking and reading the rules was like deciphering a puzzle with no solution made by a masochistic madman ;) We've all met the kind, I'm sure. For the rest of us, however, I just have to wonder why we feel so compelled to rant and vent and get upset about things which we fundamentally have little to no impact over. Especially those of us who play Games Workshop games. By now, we all should have learned that GW listens to no one, and GW listens to its fans least of all.

Part of this is coming from the point of view where I'm walking back after a break and going "I want to put together and play the army I want rather than just one that wins." For me, that army is Dark Eldar. I want to get the pieces painted and set up and be able to admire the work that I've done. I find, however, that I have little desire to play them. It's one of those things where I just realize that, especially in a competitive setting, the Dark Eldar list that I like, that I think is cool is not very good. And that just frustrates me.

So, really, I'm kind of asking a rhetorical question: How can I treat my hobby like a hobby? By that, I mean, how can I maximize the enjoyment that I get from it and minimize the frustration, anxiety and anger that I tend to feel when I get deeply engrossed? I'm not sure, really.

I've got some ideas about what I can do and how I can do it. I plan on writing them up in the near future as a part of my return to blogging on a semi-regular basis. I intend this as kind of the intro, the warm up. I'm not sure if I have real solutions or not, but I think I have some thoughts that I can really turn into something decent in writing form. Regardless, I've rambled on enough for now, so this is the end of this part ;)

Hobby time notes: This doesn't really fit with the article and it doesn't merit its own post, but I thought I'd stick in a fun note about my actual hobby progress. I have 90% of the Warmachine stuff I've bought recently assembled and based. I'm trying to get quite a bit of it painted up for a local tournament this coming Saturday. I plan to crash and burn in the tournament, but I hope it'll help me get a few games in and get me off the ground running with the system again. Theoretically, I should have some pictures to post of painted stuff soon... Provided my damn cord quits hiding from me! ;)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Playing some games

So, after my nearly no hobby time, I definitely have gotten back into... Well... Something. Yeah, that was definitely enlightening.

So, last Saturday, I made my way down to the local store, whereupon I was informed that 40k was at kind of a low ebb at the moment and that it might be difficult to get in games. "What are people playing?" I asked. Warmachine and Flames of War were the answers I received. "Malifaux?" Nope, some people had played, but they were all no longer coming around or playing or something. "Dystopian Wars?" What's that?

So, I was, as you might imagine, pretty bummed. I had just bought the last few pieces necessary for my Dark Eldar to start sucking on table tops all across the store, and I wasn't going to be getting a real chance to play them. Yeah.

So, I took a look at my options, and I weighed them. Flames of War has always been something that I look at and go "Meh." I'm not a WW2 guy. I'm just not. I don't speak the lingo, I don't know the battles by heart, and I just can't find it in myself to give much of a damn about playing a game reenacting scenarios based on WW2. Warmachine is something that I played for a while and dropped for various reasons. I have some fond memories of the game and some real reservations about whether or not the game is any good. However, it's much more fun to watch played that Flames of War, so I ended up watching a bit of a game.

Before I knew it, the game was over and I was talking to the guys who'd been playing. I mentioned that I hadn't played in quite a while, and one of the guys offered to go through a quick small game with me again so I could refresh my recollection. 2 hours later, I walk out of the store with the basis of a Retribution of Scyrah army. Yeah, apparently I like elfs. Who knew? ;)

So far, I've actually been having fun painting these guys. After a few games this weekend (which I spent in Charlotte), I can safely say that I think I enjoy playing them as well. In fact, I've even been inspired enough that I've dug out my Legion of Everblight models and started working on stripping them so I can think about repainting them and having 2 forces.

It's funny how you'll shelf stuff only to come back to it later because of changed circumstances. I wish that people around here played Malifaux or something I was more interested in, but I think I can manage to have a bit of fun with some Warmachine for now.

However, this is not to say that I did not get a chance to play some 40k. I totally did. Via Vassal. Yes, I actually sat down and figured out how to use the damn thing and got in a game with my buddy Rick. I brought Dark Eldar and he brought Marines. After 3 turns, he had pretty much whipped my ass directly off the board. Needless to say I was a bit less than pleased by that. Basically, my Dark Eldar kind did exactly what I thought they'd do: miss with Dark Lances and die in droves ;)

Still, I refuse to just give up. I plan on continuing my ludicrous journey with Dark Eldar for now. I'd like to get them painted to a decent standard so that I can get wiped off the table with some small measure of dignity ;)

In the finality of my game-playing related news, I got a chance to play the Game of Throne board game after my buddy Justin picked up a copy. I have to say that I enjoyed it. We played with 3 people, and I think it would be better with 6, but there's still a lot of fun to be had with the game. It took us 2 1/2 hours to fumble through a game, and I can't imagine that it will get much quicker, especially as the intrigue starts to get more intense with more players. So, if you have 5 friends of reasonable intelligence, it'd be a fun way to spend an evening not spent playing other games ;)

For now, I'm too exhausted to post anything even semi-coherent, so I'll end it here and hopefully be back with something marginally interesting to read sometime soon. Maybe ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hobby amusement

So, having set myself on a course to re-enter the hobby as smoothly and quickly as possible, I made my way to my local hobby store to purchase the few remaining necessaries left for me before I can field what I would call a proper Dark Eldar army.

Then, I sat down to build with my trusty new dog at my side. "What dog?" you might ask. Well, that dog in the picture is now mine. Her name is Soph, and she dutifully watched me construct some Dark Eldar. Only once taking the time to attempt to snack on a Phantasm Grenade launcher before I swiftly disabused her of the notion (I did this by screaming like a girl and becoming frantic before I realized she hadn't swallowed any of it).

Now, because of my local hobby store's stock, I ended up one Venom short of what I wanted. Thus, I fiddled around with the list a bit more until I came up with this:


Archon: Shadowfield, Agonizer, Drugs, Haywires, Grenade Launcher


4 Incubi riding in a double cannon Venom

2x 7 Bloodbrides (including Syren with Power Weapon) with Haywires riding in a Raider


6x 5 Warriors with a Blaster riding in a Raider


2x 2 Beastmasters with 10 Khymerae


3x Ravager

So, still relatively close to what I originally outlined.

What's cool about this list, in my opinion, is that it gets lots of hitty (Bloodbrides, Incubi, Beasts) without losing too many Lances. Lances suck, but they're basically all we get as Dark Eldar, so I need enough to crack vehicles so I don't just end up banging on the outside with my Bloodbrides screaming "Let us in! We want to kill you. Maybe. In like 3-4 full turns. If we don't roll shit for our dodge saves!" I get 8 Lance shots from Raiders, 6 from Blasters and 9 from Ravagers. So, 23 shots total at 17 different targets, possibly. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

What's really awesome is that I totally did not shell out the retarded amount for Beasts that GW seems to believe that we gamers will. I bought a box of Chaos Warhounds and a box of Vampire Count undead dog things (Yeah, I didn't read the box so much as look at the pictures and go "Ooh! Nightmarish! Win."), so my Beast squads will be composed of those and some repurposed Hellions.

Now, what's gonna suck? All my anti-infantry is really in my Bloodbrides and Beasts. I can get all of my Warriors together and put a hurt on a unit, and my lone Venom MIGHT do something. So, against Orks, I'm kinda in trouble. Meh. A risk I'm willing to take. Also, I have only 30 scoring bodies with T3 and a 5+ save. Yeah, that probably will suck, but I just can't convince myself to care that much ;)

Also, I totally decided that I love the Lhamaean model. Thus, I have bought one and she will be my Archon. Seriously. I know people dissed the model when it came out because the pose is static, but I think she looks quite regal. Therefore, I decided that she will reign supreme over my Kabal of the Broken Heart as a former prostitute who rose to concubine and eventually Archon. This should also give some sort of reason (beyond my simple preferences) for why something like 75% of my Dark Eldar models ended up being female. Yeah.

Anyways, I'll be trying to get in a game or so tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get a game, some pictures and some amusement ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I didn't die, I swear!

Ok. So. Yeah. I haven't posted anything in... What? 3-4 months. Well, that sucks, doesn't it? I had a load of unavoidable stuff drop on me now that I moved from Charlotte down to live with my grandparents and give them a helping hand. Who knew that taking care of older people in bad health would suck away ALL of your time?

For now, I plan on trying to slowly get myself back into doing this blog. It's an important thing to me, and I enjoy it a hell of a lot. Unfortunately for anyone who would love me enough to yell "He's back!" it may be a little shaky. That said, lets get down to business.

I know I haven't even touched any 40k stuff in a long while, even before my descent into non-blogging. Still, it's funny how there's always something that will draw you back in. For me, it's the fact that I have a ridiculous amount of Dark Eldar sitting unpainted and unloved in boxes.

I love the models, I love the fluff, I still think the rules are lackluster, especially when compared to other codices. But, I'm not necessarily here to whine on and on about how shit I have it. Hell, Sisters didn't even get new models.

My good buddy Rick has been on me for a while now to get off my ass and do some 40k stuff. So, I finally broke down and actually came up with what I think I might enjoy running. Now, it may not be competitive, but I think it may be a bit of fun to drop on the table. If nothing else, it'll give me something to paint while I start studying for the South Carolina Bar ;)

So, let's look at 2 variations of what I think I might run.


Archon w/ Shadowfield, Combat Drugs, Agonizer and Grenade Launcher


2x 7 Bloodbrides including a Syren with Agonizer in a stock Raider
5 Incubi in a stock Raider


6x 5 Warriors w/ a Blaster in a stock Raider


2x 2 Beastmasters w/ 10 Khymerae


3x Ravagers

The second variation takes away the Archon's drugs and uses those extra point to buy 2 of the Warrior squads Venoms. Part of my motivation is working with models I mainly already have. To do either of these variations, I only have to by some Incubi, Beast stand-ins (Chaos Warhounds) and 2 Venoms. Easy enough to do.

Anyways, kinda wanted to get this post just out there into the open waters of the Internet and then take it from there. Theoretically, I have new life experience which I can change into some nice little articles for anyone who's kind enough to read my babbling ;)