Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts on Mangled Metal

So, I've been thinking about lists for the upcoming Mangled Metal/Fang and Claw Tournament. I hadn't really giving this format much thought before. I'd played in a lot of mangled metals in the past but even the tournaments I played in tended to be a pick up events where I was not planning on playing in it. My big fear is Karchev and other casters that can kill Jacks/beasts and take a beating. So When building MM/FaC lists I think you want to focus on 2-3 heavies and a beatstick Caster. I was originally going to play my Trolls in this event, but after looking over my collection of beasts and casters, I think I'll go with my Cygnar or Cryx instead. For Trolls I have  a few casters I'd consider for this type of scenario, but I'm lacking the beast support I'd want. I'd run Borka with two Earthborns, but I don't have dups of my Earthborn and I've only got one game with Borka. Two Earthborns are the core of all my Theorymachine lists, although I was also looking at a Mauler/bomber combo, but with out an Axer or Impaler, I felt the threat ranges where two small. Also Beasts tend to be slightly more expensive then jacks and a little less durable, both these factors have swayed my choice to Warmachine armies. With Cryx I can run Denny with two Slayers and two arcnodes, or Coven with the same or swap out the Slayers for a Deathjack. Cygnar takes a little more effort and if I had a third Ironclad, I'd run them with Estryker, instead I think I'll run Ol'Rowdy, Ironclad, and Charger. Maybe Siege with Defender, Hunter, and Charger.

Oh, I just realized I have a ton of Merc Jacks, maybe it's time for Magnus to come out of Retirement. Bart's Theme list drops Mariners down to 7 points each, allowing him to run two Mariners and two Buccaneers. So many choices, I don't know what to do. To make it even more fun, my Khador army is currntly a bunch of Jacks and Casters, with only a min winterguard as infantry and only a Wardog for my solos, but that matters little in Mangled Metal. Sigh, life was easier with I was just looking at my trolls, now I'm a kid in the Candy Store.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Steamroller? What Steamroller?

I help organize our local store's monthly Warmachine tournament and we have had a bunch of new players show up on league night lately so I figured it's time for a Mangled Metal event. Normally I'm a bit of a fanboy for official tournament rules like Steamroller, so even when I'm not happy with the current state of that rules set, I try to follow it anyways as if gives everyone a common ground of understanding, everyone uses the same rules. But as I looked though the Steamroller Doc for the Mangled Metal rules, I just realized how many events I've been too or even helped run that are not supported by Steamroller. Also I realized Mangled Metal is not listed in the steamroller rules. Both the Genesis and Resurgence where not steamrollers and I'm always seeing people use Mangled Metal or "progressive army size" as a tournament format, but that's not supported as a Steamroller format. It never occurred to me, to not run a Steamroller if I was able too. So the next event I'm helping run will be Mangled Metal.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stuff and things

I've been playing Lotro a bit and I'm really enjoying it. Also I started to play some Warstorm once again, it's a facebook game that's sort of like an automated Magic the Gathering, it's pretty entertaining.

On to Warmachine stuff. What's up with all the Infantry machine players I keep running into. Jacks or Beasts are where the game gets good. Most Hordes players know this or at least have to take beasts so I'll focus more on Jacks, even though a lot of what I'm going to say applies to them too. Jacks are tactically very flexible, power attacks and focus allocation are very good and powerful effects, add to that the fact that most heavy jacks are very hard to take out and you have a winner. All Jacks have powerful anti infantry tech once you figure in multiple attacks, slams, and throws. Heavy jacks get trample too, making them even better against infantry and making it that much harder to protect something from a close heavy. Head butts allow for amazing melee or shooting follow up attacks. Maybe people just don't know how to use Jacks, but it scares me when I look across the table and see multiple heavy jacks or beasts.

Also, anyone know how to beat Karchev in a 15 point mangled metal? He hurts my head.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lord of the Rings Online (LotRo) is now free to play.

Lotro went free to play a few weeks ago so I decided to see if my old Dwarven Minstrel was still around. Turns out he is. So I've been playing a bit this week. If you play Lotro on Fireroot server, look up Iolar if you get a chance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This is not a real post.

I'm just posting this as a link to my other blog, "The Game Trainer". I just posted some thoughts on dice probability and what that means to me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It's Wednesday!

That's about it.

Also I've added linkage to my army photos on Dakka Dakka. These are a photo inventory for me, so you will see some pretty unimpressive figures primer straight black or even (gasp) unprimed. the links should be right here on the side ---------------------------------------------------------->

Also here is a link to a Chess clock discussion I started on Focus and Fury. Focus and Fury is the most wretched hive of scum and villainy on the internets, so view them wisely.

So my take on trying to improve on both Chess clocks and timed turns are as such. Both ideas require some testing and refinement. For Chess clocks make the secondary or Tertiary tiebreaker be based on having spent less time then your opponent, giving the faster player an advantage in the match and really discouraging stalling. I would allow for a margin that gives players some leeway, like if your times are both 5 minutes apart or less, no one gets this tie breaker. (first guess, maybe 5 minutes is too short). That last sentence looked confusing, so what I mean't was you have to use less time then the slower players total time plus 5 or more minutes to win this tie breaker. This could also favor the second player a little, if he missed his next turn do to "Dice down", the extra time the first player spent could give the second player this tie breaker.

For timed turns I would add a turn limit, you play for 5 turns max, but set up the time restriction to allow for this, unless people are running very far behind schedule . Don't allow control point or VPs to end the game, use them only as first tie breaker. The game only ends after turn five or at Caster Kill (Die down would only be called after a very generous time limit . Something like; Total turns times turn limit plus 10 minutes more for extensions and 5 minutes more for to avoidDice down being an issue.
N being the total number of turns BOTH players are expected to play (I think 5 is a good number, so N would be 10 for my event)
X is the timed turn limit, 10 minutes are 35 points, 12 minutes at 50.
E is equal to both players extensions, usually 5 minutes each, for a total of 10.
So dice down in a 35 point event would be 115, versus the 80 minutes Plus 2-12 minutes that are used now. That may be too much time, but most games should end before that time, but cheap scenarios wins would be gone unless they can also hold ground, not ending the game at turn two or three.

Comments are welcome. . .

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tournament wrap up

So the Saturday tournament happened and while I mostly enjoyed my self, my first game was frustrating.

I played my Grim list all day and I enjoyed the list very much. Grim is a sweet caster and running 50 points of beasts with him was fun. We had an 8 player turn out, so no one was getting byes, but we have had much better turn outs before. The faction line up was two Khador, two Circle, Menoth, Merc, Cygnar, and me playing Trollbloods.

I played Johnny and his Khador first round in a Killbox mission.
Johnny is a local player and a good friend of mine, but we both got a little heated in this game. I felt he was wasting my time during my turns with slow tough rolls and having to fish a dismounted Fenris out of his minis bag when I killed the Dragoon (this caused me to lose activating a few models and stopped my Earthborn mid attack, but I forgot about the time extension) . So when I tried and failed to get the Caster Kill on EButcher, I knocked him down, attacked a bunch at range but I didn't have the speed to get the Earthborn into finish him. So I resigned to losing, but Johnny started his turn, Walked the butcher up to Grim and started to swing, I said nope, you where knocked down and didn't shake it off, then you moved you caster, so you forfeit your attacks. He got very frustrated by this and said he conceded, I told him to get the Judge and see what he said. The judge ruled that what happened happened and there was no take backs, but he could still spend focus for extra attacks. The Epic Butcher then slaughtered all my beasts and my caster. :(  After the Tournament I thought about that and realized you don't forfeit your initial attacks, you forfit your actions, so you can't buying attacks. So I should have lost, if Johnny shook off the knockdown, but he but lost anyway. I'm a little bitter, but I failed on my turn because I didn't plan it well, so that's my bad. (I feated that turn to set up the caster kill, then had Grim shoot the butcher with the net gun, instead of my rifle, where "bait the line" would have gotten the Earthborn to the Butcher, additionally if I used the rifle I won't have moved up into the butcher's threat range.
* * *
My second game was against an old friend from out of town, Matt playing Epic Magnus. We played convergence that round. Basically did a turn two feat with EMagnus picking both player's table edges so I could only do lateral movements, he also ran the Halbardiers up to pin my models in place. But I just took free strikes and Shot Magnus down on my turn. The assassination run required me to puzzle out some stuff and kill a few models, but worked well and gave me the game. Matt's a good player and will be great once he gets more games in. 

* * * 
Round three had me playing my roommate, Rich with his Circle. We played Incursion and it was a slow grind, with him out maneuvering me and slightly out dicing me, I seemed to always leave models alive with 1 or 2 health, then he would swing buck and kill my beasts. Skin walkers are a huge pain to clear out, and while I was killing two or so a turn, He had ten of them. I managed to kill his Stalker and maybe his Pureblood (I can't remember if I sealed the deal on that, after my turn two he seemed to always be 2-3 hit points from death), but his Warp wolves with Epic Kaya are amazing. Just when you think he's going to have to commit, Kaya pops her feat and then the warp wolves house your models, then port back to Kaya.
* * *
Picutres added

Trolls on the March!

Round 1: That's pretty Butch! 
A large Chunk of Johnny's army.

Round 1: Pregame list reviews, as Johnny 
and I prepare for our round one match off. Grim vs. EButcher.

Round 2: That's a lot of Fury on the Board.

Round 3: I call this one "Chuck vs. the Ten skinwalkers" This 
was a shot of the first turn as Rich starts moving the 'Walkers out.
EKaya vs. Grim

'Walkers, Texas Rangers
Walkers in Round 1 face off aginst Cygnar.
EKaya vs. EHaley

Round 2: Who let the Dawgs out? Circle on Circle Crime.
Kormac vs. EKaya

Round 26: The Steelhead's Wicker Battle Barge

Round 1: This is Kay-Door!
Evlad vs himself

First Place when to Lance (Circle), then I think Adrian (Menoth) then Bryan (Khador).

Friday, September 10, 2010

50 point Tournament tomorrow at Game Kastle.

So the event is pretty standard except we are using preset missions and survival scoring for ranking tie breakers.

Warmachine Tournament 50 point Steamroller 2010 
Three Rounds 
1st round: Kill box 
2nd round: Incursion 
3rd round: Convergence 
Survival Scoring for Standings tie-breakers. 

This is what I'm going to play:
Army Name: Grim 50
50+6 points, 18 models

Grim Angus +6 points
* Dire Troll Blitzer 9 points
* Dire Troll Bomber 10 points
* Earthborn Dire Troll 10 points
* Pyre Troll 5 points
* Troll Axer 6 points
* 2x Troll Impaler 5 points each

4 Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes 3 points
* Stone Scribe Elder 1 point
Troll Whelps 2 points
Army Name: Grissel 50
50+5 points, 28 models

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller +5 points
* Dire Troll Blitzer 9 points
* Dire Troll Mauler 9 points
* 2x Troll Axer 6 points each

Fell Caller Hero 3 points
4 Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes 3 points
* Stone Scribe Elder 1 point
6 Pyg Burrowers 4 points
Stone Scribe Chronicler 2 points
Troll Whelps 2 points
5 Trollkin Champions 10 points

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Warmachine Vs. Hordes

Hey all,

So I've been thinking about Warmachine and Hordes now that MK2 has been around for a while and how the two sister games work. As we all know they are compatible but have different play styles and nuances. Hordes allows your Beasts and Warlocks to be very active, but I feel that support elements such as feats, spells, and models are weaker then the Warmachine counterparts. Warmachine has more powerful effects and models but the limits of Focus mean your caster and jacks are not as dynamic as Hordes. This is the balancing point.

Warmachine models feel like they are 10% - 15% stronger then Hordes models, but that's because you have to rely on their unboosted stats more. In Warmachine you only have around a half dozen focus to power your Jacks and cast spells, so you need to utilize your infantry more and your spells need to be more influential as your cost to cast them is much higher then in Hordes.

Hordes allows the Warlock to have access to all his fury and have his beasts run at full steam. This means they can boost to hit and damage a lot more freely, while the caster can throw spells like a mad man. Hordes support models are in the same ball park as Warmachine figures, but they just don't quite match up on a point to point comparison, unless you start applying buffs and spells. Someone might try to tell me that Troll infantry is amazing, Trollkin are tough and has a ton of ways to buff them to outrageous levels. This is true, but all those buffs come at a price in points that is not insignificant and while they appear to have tough for free, the medium bases are a pain to maneuver around.

Just saying....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I got my Trollbloods Book!

I got a copy of the Trollbloods book last night, I friend picked it up for me at PAX. I'm pretty happy with it, the main story is sweet, with a few characters I didn't expect to see and some very cool fights. The new units are all pretty cool, but now I'm sad as I have to wait months to get all the cool stuff. PDoomshaper's theme list has unlimited 3 point Rune Shapers!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Odd is better then even.

When playing agonist a Hordes player, you want to roll Odd numbers when you roll for hit location. This gives you the best shot a crippling an aspect of the Warbeast. Even hit locations mean you have to crew though about 60% of that anspect with out being able to cripple it (unless it's almost dead and you roll all the way around to finish the beast). It's not that big a deal, but if you have models with the sniper ability almost always call the odd numbered spirals. 

Gencon masters results from Bell of Lost Souls

Hey guys,

Head on over to BoLS for their Gencon Masters results.

Congratz to
Jason Flanzer (Khador) - 1st place
Chuck Elswick (Cryx) - 2nd place
And everyone else in the top 16.

Great Job!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pax + Rockband + Warmachine = Heavy Metal

So I guess Tycho from Penny-Arcade wrote a Warmachine song for Rockband. It's supposed to be released on Xbox live sometime soon, and all the profit will go to Child's Play (Penny-Arcade's Children's hospital charity).

I wish I could understand the lyrics, but I do like the sound of it.

Here is the link...
Warmachine Rockband

Edit: now with Lyrics

WARMACHINE (Rock Band Song Lyrics)

In a Kingdom of Iron
Under the dome of the sky
Warmachines begging for battle
And battle is their reply!
A Warcaster is more than a wizard, more than a soldier, and more than a man
Bound to their steam-powered warjacks, pneumatic nightmares which sunder the land
You can run! But can you outrun your doom?
You can hide! But you're hiding in your tomb!
In a Kingdom of Iron
Beneath the vault of the sky
Corvis has made you a weapon
On which Cygnar can rely.
You've been instructed, almost reconstructed, by Lieutenant Allister Caine
See how he bristles with his Spellstorm pistols, to burst with cerulean rain
Watch them flee! From your furnace of coal-fired hell!
Mystery! See them blister as you form the spell.
(acoustic breakdown)
The Cryx fixed their gaze upon thick stands of pine
Where your column walked solemn through lands lost to time.
Their necrotechnology, their psysiognomy,
dichotomies beyond rhythm or rhyme.
When Corruptors fire Bursters, it couldn't be worse.
Helljacks attack and your soldiers disperse.
You've seen light, a green light, an Yngwie Malmsteen light:
the blight which powers this demonic hearse.
(Rock times.)
In a Kingdom of Iron
Under the dome of the sky
Surrounded by ruination
You're waiting.
Waiting to die.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Left are is not as protected as the Right.

On this Warjack damage grid, at first it looks like all systems are equally protected, as least as far as left side versus right. However the truth of the matter is that the left arm is much more vulnerable then the right. If you hit column 1 for 7 damage, the left arm would be crippled, but not so on column 5, the cortex would take a point and the right arm would survive with one box left. Now image what would happen if column 6 was hit for say 10 damage, that would fill column 6, 1 and go four damage deep on column 2, once again crippling the left arm, but 10 points on column 4 would fill that column and leave 4 damage for column 5, almost crippling the cortex, but with out other damage, is no where near destroying the right arm.

Just something to think about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last night's Warmachine night.

Well I don't know what happened with the Summer Ramage, I don't expect much as it turns out no one else entered except me. I was hoping some late comers would show up and make it a competition but no one joined.

Oh well, someone (Pascal) did show up and we played a 50 point game. We didn't play a mission.
Pascal was running PButcher, Wardog, 2 Kodiaks, a berzerker, 5 man Demo Team, Max Winterguard with Officer/standard, Kovnik Joe, Greylord Terrion, 2 Man Hunters and Yuri.

I ran Grissel, Runebearer, Mualer, Earthborn, Axer, 6 Scattergunners, 10 Kriel Warriors with 1 Caber, Piper/Standard, Cronicaler, 6 Kriel Stone Bearers, Eldar, Fell Caller, and 6 Pyg Borrowers.

We Matched up with me going first and him setting up placed WInterguard on the left flank across from my Scatter gunner and near the center of the table where my Caster and Beasts where. My Warriors faced off the right flanks against Yuir, 2 Man Hunters, and the Demo Team. This Jacks and Terrion where alined across the center of the table from my Caster, beasts and support models. The Pygs started infront of the Scatter gunners.

Turn 1:
I went first, had the Pygs burrow and move towards the center of the table. Everything else advanced/ran up.
He cautiously advanced gaining ground but not risking getting charged first. This Manhunters and Yuri used some Ruined castle sections to advance behind.

Turn 2:
My army advances, the Pygs appear, ready to charge all the Jacks and some Demo teams. My Warriors advance up with the +2 speed buff and engage a Manhunter and Yuri and one lucky hit kills Yuri and hurts the one of the other Man Hunters. The Pygs get buffed by fell caller for +2 mat, the Cronicaler give them Heroes Tragedy. They Charge up and I figure out on can charge the Wardog, so I figure you not and charge. I didn't think about how I'd be in the Butcher's Reach and have to test for terror, but that's what happened and my unit broke. So no borrower attacked :(. My Scatter Gunners shoot up the Winter guard but only kill one or two guys thanks to Bob and Weave and Iron Flesh. Grissel Pops feat and buff Earthborn with rage, Kriel Stone pops the +1 str Buff and then he Charges the two Kodiaks, that lined up to protect the Butcher, He Scraps one and puts over half damage on the second one (go 6 pow 20 attacks!). Mauler buffs the Fell caller, who then charges into the last Kodiak and Kills it in one attack. Everyone uses Hoof it to maneuver to safety or  engage threatening Targets.
He works a lot of his units trying to get the Pyg Borrowers out of the way, but tough rolls and Heroes Tragedy punish him for it. By the end of his turn they are wiped out and the manhunters manage to kill two Trolls Warriors. The Butcher Feats and charges the Earthborn and kill it in two hits. His Winterguard kill most the scattergunners and a few kriel stone bears scribes. The Berzerker kills some warriors that engaged it with the Hoof it moves, while most the Demo crew stand up from being knocked down from Killing the borrowers.

Turn 3: The Butcher is exposed and in Charge range of Grissel but no one else. So I use Charge of the Trolls on her from the Cronicaler, Ran the axer to engage him, Had Grissel Charge and buff her self (I should have had the Mauler Buff her, or used the Runebear first). Grissel Beats him down to 3 hit points and slams him knocking him down, but he's still camping four focus and my only ranged play was to have the mauler throw the axer at him, and I did, but at pow 13 (I forgot to use his Rage) against armor 22 would require me to roll a 12 on the unboostable colateral damage roll. I rolled a 9, making for a perfect Zero damage.
Then it was his turn and the Butcher killed her in 2 swings.

It was a good game, and one I'd probably had won if I had a little more experience with Trolls and Grissel.

UPDATE: Just reread the cronicaler and noticed that he can only buff units, so when I used him to buff Grissel with "Charge of the Trolls", she was not a legal target for that buff. The +2 to hit from that really helped me "own" the Butcher, so with out it, I don't know if I had that much chance of killing the butcher, even with the mauler buffing her. Maybe if I had the Runebearer, reduce here spell cost and then if I hit the "Butch" with Calamity first, but that would still cost 3 focus with a boosted to hit roll.