Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Measured Pace

I am currently dying from the ManFlu and wasn't very keen to go to G3 (though I did in the end, feeling much better today - see how tomorrow goes...) and I was on Vassal on Monday night when Kris Tannahill popped online.  We'd arranged to play at G3, but I wanted a tutorial at using Vassal.  Thinking that we'd have plenty of time we settled on a 50 point game.

I got to test out my tier 4 pDoomshaper themed list against Kris' fairly solid Baldur list.  In the end the strength of my battlegroup prevailed and Baldur was fried by a frenzying Pyre Troll (see picture).  Actually I was quite impressed with Flamey overall, he put up quite a solid performance.

While Vassal may not be the guaranteed way to test out my new list, it did let me learn a few things about how the list performs:
1.) The free wall within 20" of my table edge is a godsend.  It provides everything I need with a cover bonus, something to get ARM buffs from, all the good stuff.  I do realise the wall is illegal in that screenshot (whoops) as I forgot that it has to be at least 3" away from other terrain.  So it should be about 2 inches more to the left and half an inch upwards.  Anyway, the wall is fantastic.

2.) My list relies almost solely on how my battlegroup performs.  It's a monster of a battlegroup (except the Axer, who dies all the time) that just keeps on churning out the damage.  I'm not entirely sure how it keeps doing it, but it does.  It's tough, durable, surprisingly fast and wrecks all sorts of havoc.

3.) Janissa Stonetide is awesome.  Seriously, if you're going to get me a Christmas present, then Janissa Stonetide or more Runeshapers is a good bet.  When you have to split your force to cover multiple objectives, then her and a couple of Runeshaper units is an intimidating split.  Or she's a portable wall-maker for the EBDT animus.  I anticipate all kinds of awesome from her.

The themed force is pretty awesome overall, though I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the Runeshapers, though this is probably because I can't judge distances at all in Vassal yet so I was constantly out of range.  On the normal tabletop I'm sure they'll perform much better.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Vassal Tutorial: How to Install and Run Warmachine & Hordes using Vassal

1.) Google Vassal or go directly to this link:
2.) Go to the Downloads section (bar is at the top)
3.) Download the latest version of Vassal - you will need Java to run it, but I suspect 99.9% of people have Java and just don't know it.  If you don't, then Google Java and download the Free Java Software.
4.) Download the version of the module (4.1 currently):
5.) Install and run Vassal.
6.) A Vassal window will appear, select Open Module and find the Warmachine download.
7.) Search for a game online
8.) Wander around crying about other people's activation orders.  Remember that selecting something and right clicking usually shows you a way to resolve most problems.

I found this very useful website that covers most of the questions I had about Vassal:

UPDATE: The tutorial website appears to have vanished from the internet.

To start a game:
1.) you must enter or create a room and have another opponent in that room.
2.) One of you must create a map, there should be a number of Steamroller friendly maps.
3.) The player who did not create the game needs to right click and select SYNCHRONIZE with the other player.
4.) Pick a player number (one or two) and away you go.

To stop the tape-measures going wild after measuring, have the zoom at 100%

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Grid Iron I

Yesterday's tournament went fairly well, except for starting a LOT later than I'd have liked.  The GUGS person with the cupboard keys (who is usually very reliable) didn't even turn up, so we were delayed almost 2 hours from starting.  To say I was not amused would be a massive understatement.

Nevertheless, we did get the cupboard open (BEFORE Jim and Alan could cut the door off the hinges with the angle grinder we keep in the van (I bet you think we're kidding too)).  I found my newly bought cake boards start to bend during gameplay, which is less than optimal.  I've got to find a way to keep them flat or at least break them in until they stay flat.  Or spend MORE money getting something better.  Time to start testing solutions!

While Jim and Murray played the finals, everyone else tested out the Grind scenario for me, and it's pretty good. What makes it better is if it were played in the Mangled Metal/Tooth & Claw format.  Which leads me to my next series of tournaments: Grid Iron.  25 points of warjacks/warbeasts only mayhem using the Grind and Demolition scenarios in SR2011 (available to Press Gangers in draft form atm).  I'm going to run the first one in January if I can find out which date Intrepidations wants to run their tournament on - just so we're not conflicting (though I may be running the Intrepidations tournament anyway).  If it's a success, I'll try to bring the format to Perth and Dundee just to break up the endless series of normal Steamroller tournaments that I'm running.

Also: Vassal... how the hell do I use it?  I've managed to spectate on some games (and cringe at how bad some people are with activation orders) but actually playing a game is currently beyond me.  I'll have to set aside some time to master this digital form of our favourite wargame.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Render Unto Caesar

New models have appeared on the Privateer Press website today:
Skaldi Bonehammer (Trollkin Champion Character UA)
Tharn Ravager Chieftain (Tharn Ravager UA)

I missed out on the previous releases, but I'm sure the people 'in the know' will have seen the pictures and descriptions already.  Both Skaldi and the Chieftain are really nice figures, though I think the Chieftain is an incredible figure, we're going to see him entered into all the major painting competitions I reckon.  I'd love to paint one up at some point, when I'm not doing my fifty bajillion Trollblood models...

Speaking of painting, I'm still working on my Runeshapers, the leader is nearly finished - though I've left the hammer completely untouched so far as it's a separate piece.  The other two are base coated and have had their first sets of washes.  The metallics are coming out nicely, but I do wonder how I can make them better.  After this of course, there's only another two units of Runeshapers, the entire KSB entourage and... everything else really.

Plans for next years tournaments are getting steadily greater, I've already got plans to run a 25 points Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw tournament using only Grind and Demolition scenarios from the SR2011 pack; I'm just having a problem coming up with a name for the tournament (Grid Iron?  Scrap Metal?).  The Tartan Brawl has all its groundwork laid out, though I'm still hunting around for additional prizes - Cerberus (via Vish) have kindly donated a Dire Troll Mauler EXTREME(!!!), faction coins and faction badges.  I have a few extra ideas for prizes but I'll have to hunt down some people that could approximate sponsors for them.  I'm sure I could finagle more out of Vish, but I don't think he'd appreciate every e-mail I send him being one where I ask for Stuff.

For those who are donating to my "Fund a Press Ganger"... fund(?) I do accept cash.  Please stop saying you'll give me cash; being super-polite (and possibly Singaporean) means I can't ask you directly for it after you say you'll give it to me.  Just get the cash straight away and shove it in my bony fists or transfer it via Paypal using the Donate button on this blog (it's on the left).  That way I can then pass it on to Matt Reid (who now follows this blog!) to build us all new terrain, or buy Steamroller related products and prizes.

On the topic of Paypal, if you want to participate in the Scotland heat of Hardcore Series I, then you MUST buy tickets via RHQ (they use Paypal).  If you do not book your tickets beforehand, you don't get entry into the tournament.  If you do not have access to Paypal, then I can take cash and book your ticket for you.  The sooner you guys book the better, or else a load of soft southerners are going to get all the tickets and steal all the places.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Yellow Brick Road to UK Masters

Though I'm probably speaking too soon (as tickets are not yet available and it is no guarantee I will be able to get one) I'm starting to look at what to take to the UK Masters. I'd like to take my planned pDoomshaper themed list and just hump everyone in a similar fashion as last time. So I was thinking of the following:

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
+Mulg the Ancient
+Earthborn Dire Troll
+Troll Axer
+Troll Bouncer
+Pyre Troll
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max)
+Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Runeshapers x3 (theme bonuses)
Janissa Stonetide
Troll Whelps

Tier Bonuses:
+2" Deployment
KSB starts with 4 Fury
Free 4" wall template within 20" of my table edge

I still need to buy/order Janissa Stonetide, 2 units of Runeshapers and the last two Stone Scribes, but otherwise I have everything - most of it's painted too!

Now, the list is neat, it's fairly simple and I just plan to rock across the board like I did at the previous UK Masters and stomp on anything that gets close enough. The list has a few weaknesses however: it is vulnerable to cheap weapon masters, anti-magic effects hose it, low model count, low range. Its strengths however are: it's a fortress to attack (walls, EBDT animus etc), lots of Steady, mostly high ARM multi-wound infantry, Mulg.

To counter the prospect of meeting serious anti-magic I need to draw up a second list that can romp across the board just as well.  To this end I think I should pick up Borka and a number of faster troop options.  Fennblades, Long Riders and all the extras are all in my collection already, I'm just missing a Dire Troll Bomber, the Fennblade UA and Borka himself.  It's not a themed list but I'll do some testing on some unsuspecting fools and see how it performs.

Things to Gets:
Borka the Kegslayer + Keg Carrier
Dire Troll Bomber
Trollkin Fennblades UA
Trollkin Runeshapers x2
Janissa Stonetide

How I'm going to afford this stuff (or get enough PG points) is still a bit of a mystery but I've got until June to plug away.  Failing all that, I'll just run the UK Masters next year instead...  Ridge Raiders for everyone!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Painting Blog: Mulg the Ancient

I've finally found an adaptor so my camera is working again.  Woohoo!  I've also fixed my lighting set up so there isn't the awful glare reflecting off my miniatures any more.  At some point I'll have to go back and redo the pictures of the Earthborn and the Impaler - both of whom have horrendous glare.

For now however, feast ye eyes on Mulg!

Monday, 8 November 2010

November Errata

There is a new errata for Hordes and Warmachine on the Privateer Press website.  Nothing really exciting about this one I'm afraid.


Aloha my erstwhile (and no doubt captive) readers, I'm here to plead my case for people to use that button to the left labelled "Donate".  With the Tartan Brawl coming up (and SR2011) I'd like to stockpile enough terrain, scenario markers and timers for 16 boards.  Unfortunately this costs quite a bit, and since I'm not swimming in money (DAMN YOU LOTTERY!) I would appreciate it greatly for any donations people can pass my way so that I can in turn pay other people for these goodies.

Here are my costs for the Tartan Brawl in March:
16 digital timers - £32
32 4"/8"/12" cake boards (scenario markers) - £28
32 Flags - actually I already have these...
48 linear obstacles (walls etc)
15 forest flats (the flat piece of board you put the trees on)
30 forest markers (the trees you put on the flats)
1 swamp flat
2 swamp markers
16 hills
16 obstructions
The estimated terrain cost is £361

Luckily these are all pretty much a one-off series of costs - I expect everything I'm getting will last a fair while, so they'll eventually pay themselves back over multiple tournaments.  Short-term however, it's much like a punch to the nuts.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Tartan Brawl 2011

Behold, Scotland's first two day event for Warmachine and Hordes! The first Tartan Brawl will be held on March 12th-13th 2011.
The event will use the most recent Steamroller format, and all games will be at 50 points.

Venue: Food Factory, Queen Margaret Union, University of Glasgow
Cost: £10 entry, payment to be taken at the door. Please express interest as soon as possible though, I don't want to bring in fewer tables than players.

12th: DAY ONE : 11am - 2am
Players will play their first set of three games. I expect drinking will become involved once the bar downstairs opens.

13th: DAY TWO : 11am - 6pm
Players will play their second set of three games.

How to Get There:
The QMU is relatively easy to find in Glasgow's West End.
Google Maps reference
Any taxi can take you there.
The HILLHEAD underground station is very close to the QMU, just proceed up Ashton Lane and turn up the slightly dodgy alley to the left behind Brel.

Glasgow Hilton Grosvenor
Clifton Hotel
Kelvin Hotel
Heritage Hotel

All these hotels are within walking distance of the venue - varying between 5 and 15 minutes walk (I'd advise walking down Byres Road, not up the big-ass hill). Failing any of these, any hotel near an Underground station will get you to the venue with no hassle.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Read your feat people!

The tournament at highlander games at the weekend was a blast (thanks again Andy)
I ran
Epic Lylyth
Nephilim Bolt Thrower
Striders With unit attachment
Strider Deathstalker

Epic lylyths feat is in basically 2 seperate parts. Epic lylyth and her battlegroup gain an extra ranged attack regardless of RoF, awesome game winning stuff right there.
The other part is that ALL friendly models in her control area gain snipe, not just the battlegroup like I played it all tournament, GRRRRRR.

So I basically hadicapped my poor striders the whole tournament. Not a mistake I will make again.

I am hoping to write a blog entry for each game I played while they are still fresh in my memory. Keep a look out folks.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dramatic Timing

The tournament at Highlander Games was a very pleasant event.  I was originally stupefied at the gaming tables set up at the shop, they were small and there were only about 5 of them in the shop.  Then I was told those were for the Yu-Gi-Oh players, all the wargaming was next door.  Phew!  The actual playing area is a little tight, but there's plenty of boards and more than enough terrain - and not just enough terrain, it was really nice terrain.  Now that I know who makes it, I'm hoping to update the terrain available for my tournaments next year.  The final rankings can be found on Warmachine UK here and here.

We'd originally pegged the tournament as being a 20 person affair, 22 had signed up but I guess one or two would drop out simply because that's how things are.  As it was, we had 16 players total, less than I thought we'd have, but still an excellent number (the perfect number for a single day event).  Apart from forgetting all my kitchen timers - they were in a box by my front door, so of course I left them behind when I left the house... - the event ran very smoothly.  No one had a strop, there were no dodgy rules callings, everyone seemed to be having fun, all a win-win situation for me.  A special thanks goes to Gary Campbell, the owner of Highlander Games for his many, many, many food and drink runs.

The next tournament I'm running will be Icy Grip on the 20th, though I'm going to have to make neat tournament prizes.  Having given up on students as an organised entity, I'm planning on independently booking the QMU for the 12th-13th of March for a 50 point tournament held over 2 days.  I'm still puzzling over names, but such things as 'The Tartan Brawl' spring to mind - cheesy but easy to remember.  As a side benefit to running the tournament in Dundee, I now know someone (Matt Reid) who makes incredible terrain and another who can make scenario markers and zones of all sizes (Midas).  Now I'll just have to work out what to get for all the scenarios and the maximum number of players I'm willing to herd.

Also: eKrueger's Themed Force has appeared on Bell of Lost Souls.