Thursday, 29 September 2016

Band on tour!

In the recent past, last Sunday to be precise I took on the epic journey of driving forty minutes down the road to sunny Hockley. To take part in the first (but not last hopefully) Bending fates run by Bendyboards with the ever gracious Wayland games as hosts.

And against all my better judgement (there's not a huge amount of that) I took the forever cool if just a bit poor (sounds like me) Crossroads Seven along.

As before all events, late to bed and early to rise seemed like a solid plan. First breakfast and a few cuppas and I was ready to go.

Drive down was uneventful apart from the car overheating but she's a tough old thing and I employed the tried and tested method of drive faster and ignore the problem which seemed to get me there in once piece.

Once there it was time for a second breakfast this one involving plenty of fried stuff, and another tea to keep me going.

Next up the classic stand in front of Wayland talking shit and shaking hands with everyone.

Next up we were in and registering which involved a lot of me say yes I'm taking the Crossroads Seven, yes really, no I didn't lose a bet, stop laughing it'll be fine, etc and so on.

Once registered and with the very nice gift of a measuring widget from Bendyboards I nipped off to grap a much needed tea then we were ready for game 1.

First game was against a charming fella called Gavin from Wales. (No I didn't "do the accent", I'm a grown adult I don't go around mimicking people's accent... Yes I really wanted to).
Great game of Ophelia vs Wrath in head hunter. I threw Greed and Pride in early in the hopes of giving him something to worry about while the rest of the crew got into position. This half worked, the rest of the crew got to roughly where I wanted them but Ophelia and friends didn't even pause while killing Greed and Pride and strolling on forward now with a few points for the heads in the bag.
The game carried on like this with me losing a couple of models a turn while scraping a few points together where I could.
Finished 10-6 to Gavin. Really fun game and I was happy with how I play despite the lack of VP.

Time for lunch!

Start of lunch I drop down my crew for the painting comp, this may have involved a display
board, yes I know I'm a wanker. (Still a bit gutted I never got a good look at the painting crews as I was too caught up chatting, fingers crossed there will be some pictures floating around of them soon)
Next a classic Wayland meal deal.
Chat about the first round with people, compare emotional scaring from the beatings we received then back to the fun.

Game two was against fellow Dark Sphere club mate Ross running his Gremlins. So Ulix v Wrath in Extraction. As always a fun if crazy game against Ross. Lots of carnage in the middle of the board with Pride trying to act as scheme runner up one flank (also this crew needs a leap or similar, on Pride or Greed would work great). This was a game of paper cut damage by me while pigs had a picnic on the bands guts and also on any scheme markers that I managed to drop. Ended up pulling five VP from the game, which took every resource and trick I had. Ross took the Win 10-5 and well deserved.

Quick dash for tea and to check how everyone else was getting on then straight into game three. The final and as chance would have it I was in line for a prize. The much coveted and desired wooden spoon awarded to the most generous gifter of tournament points. (the loser)

The final game was against the comedy legend, the happiest man in Malifaux Sir Matt of Spoons.
Matt was running Ramos v Wrath in Collect the bounty. (Did I mention my crew was all enforcers?)
Figuring I needed to put the pressure on early I threw Wrath forward and took out Johan start of round 2, I took out a few spiders as well. Then I got hit by a train! The rail golem killed whatever it looked at before Lust could push it into a corner for a turn. This just meant that Joss took over with the face smashing.
As you would expect from Matt it was an enjoyable game with plenty of swearing to keep things moving. Despite the score I honestly think I played it as well as I could, I forced some tough choices and got in strong positions I just didn't have the tools to finish the job, while Matt kept the pressure on each turn and made sure he scored his points. The game ended with a loss of 9-2 but both of us happy with how we played.

So that's it, there was some cheering as people won trophies that weren't as good as my spoon, If you want to know who they were check out the rankings as I will probably get the names wrong.

There was a raffle with cheering as well. Then it was time to thank the TO's Bendyboards and the hosts Wayland games. Then I just had to drive home, scrub the gamer stink off me, and maybe put the band in a little box at the back of my hobby cupboard for a while.

Thanks for reading (if anyone still is) next event should be Falldown II where I think I'll be back to running Molly maybe with a bit of Yan Lo thrown in for good measure.

Monday, 26 September 2016

First thoughts on the Crossroads Seven

As I spent so long painting up these lovely models I decided that I should actually run them so the plan is two club games and then a proper test at Bending Fate, a three round tournament happening at the end of the month.

I've read the cards and tried to get the auras triggers and tricks set in my head but I am very much a trial and error type player (heavy on the error) so the best way for my to learn is at the table.

First of the practise games down and I have to say I really like the Seven. They're far from perfect but I'm far from skilled so it's a good match.
The games was against fellow Abnormalifaux Brad with Rasputina in a very themey list. I'd come to terms with the fact I was going to lose models fast and hard but fingers crossed I could score a few VP on the way.
I ran the band as "outcast" just so I could hire the Malifaux child and with the full seven that's the crew.
The strat was extraction and I took hunting party and frame for murder (on Pride, seemed apt). Greed was ideal for smacking minions with her ranged action as 4 damage or discard soulstones is an easy choice for most players.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Asami Tanaka: First thoughts & tactics

Why yes I would like a new Master please.

The release of some new masters has got the Abnormalifaux Crew very excited.

I’m currently running Pandora so I’m excited to see Titania coming to the Neverborn. I’m also really excited about Asami Tanaka. It is always great to have new models and new masters. Hats off to Wyrd for giving us some great new stuff.

I didn’t manage to get Titania in my Gen Con order but I did manage to get Asami, the Shadow Emissary and a pack of Wandering River Monks. Good stuff.

This article is supposed to be about Asami though. It is purely my first thoughts on reading the cards and opening the box. I haven’t played her yet.

First up is her card

And the back

So let’s look at what she can do.

Monday, 19 September 2016

A lodda work for cheriddy mate.....

Lo, it is I! I have returned from another trip to an event although this time instead of heading into the wild lands north of the M25 car park, I went south. Into the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Kent.

The very awesome Dave Hill had decided to take the plunge and run his own Malifaux event with the aim of raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities, an excellent organisation that provides accommodation for families with a child in hospital care. A very worthy cause indeed and Dave had come up with some excellent stretch goals to help raise as much money as possible. The event was held at Grumpy Goblin in Ramsgate which is a lovely store over 3 floors with a shop, cafe and gaming area. Jake, who owns the business, had very kindly donated the use of the large gaming area for free. Awesome stuff.

Not only did we have the obligatory raffle (which had a ton of prizes donated by people in the community) but there were baked goods for sale and the ability to pay a £5 fee to grudge the person of your choice in the first round, as long as they agreed of course! The charity shenanigans didn't stop there however; Dave had pledged to TO the whole event dressed in costume (Radioactive Man from The Simpsons) but the brave soul had also agreed to take a cream pie to the face at the end of the event. Joe Wood had promised to dress as a Rotten Belle for the event as well as playing a joke crew made up of Leviticus and 9 Belles, which has been a long running joke in the UK scene as a "broken" crew. Ben "Joffrey" Crowe had also joined in with the fund raising by allowing his opponents to pick his Master for each game. As he was playing Guild I suspect Lucius came out to play at least once.....

I had travelled down the night before with THE Joel Henry and we'd had a lovely evening with Lee Battrick and the Lord of Malifaux himself Mike Marshall. Truly we were humbled. Dinner was acquired at the hotel and then Joel and I took ourselves off for the very serious business of studying crews for the next day Pokemon hunting in Ramsgate. So many electric Pokemon on the seafront.......

First round is underway and I had been grudged by Lee Battrick as we'd never had the opportunity to play. Lee has currently left the Bayou for the Guild and had chosen Sonnia for this game of Collect the Bounty. It was a fantastic game, Lee was very patient and helpful as I am not at all familiar with Sonnia so there might have been a bit of coaching going on. A super fun game that ended 5-4 to me with huge thanks to Lee reminding me Ophelia can shoot in melee. Doh!

Second game and I'd decided I was going to take a different Master in each game as I am trying to practice with Wong and Mah so as not to become too reliant on Ophelia. The second strategy was Extraction and after taking one look at the amount of cover and severe terrain on the board, I decided to go with Mah, hoping that being able to ignore severe terrain with chores and being a more melee focused Master would help me in the match up with Paul Dean's Ten Thunders Misaki. Misaki is another Master I don't know too well and Paul had taken some other unfamiliar models such as Ten Thunders Archers, Fuhatsu and The Lone Swordsman. Ultimately the Archers being able to take a free shot at the end of every turn thanks to Blot the Sky and having the ability to ignore cover and not randomise was more than my crew could handle. Paul played really well and came out the 10-5 winner of another fun game. Note to self. Kill the damn archers next time!

Last round and yet another new player - Grant Dickinson. This time however it was a more familiar Master, the mad undertake himself, Nicodem. This was the first time I'd seen the Carrion Emissary on the table against me so I was keen to find out what it could do in the game of Guard the Stash. Turns out, it's really bloody annoying! For the last game I was using Wong as I've been having fun with him and want to try and use him to his full potential. Given the Emissary's ability Shards of Kythera, which places big LoS blocking pillars all over the shop, it's more than a little frustrating!

Another really good game of Guard the Stash that resulted in a 10-6 loss for me. Lots of horribleness ensued from Nicodem which involved summoning over the course of the game, 3 Hanged, 2 Flesh Constructs, a horde of Mindless Zombies, a Punk Zombie, a Crooligan and a couple of Shikome. Bloody Ressers. I simply didn't have the firepower to take them down and some clever use of Shards of Kythera helped keep Grant's key models safe from Wong's blasty magic. Lots of fun but my Gremlins were simply overwhelmed!

End of the event and there were a couple of things to attend to before getting down to the business of results. First the raffle, which had so many prizes that I think most people went home with something. I was lucky enough to come away with a Miss Step, which my Arcanist playing partner was very pleased with. Then we had the very important matter of Dave bravely taking a cream pie to the face, which was duly applied by Ben Crowe who I think enjoyed it far too much....

Pie time!

As for the results the Best Painted award went to Mike Hutchinson (author of the very cool Gaslands game, go check it out!) for his lovely Miaski crew. The wooden spoon went to Al and then we had 3rd place of THE Joel Henry, 2nd place for John Burgess (moving onto Outcast filth instead of Neverborn filth!) and our 1st place prize went to George Hollingdale from the Flippin' Wyrd team. But the real winner of the day was Ronald McDonald House Charity who will be receiving a total amount raised by this event of over £1000 which is amazing. Huge congratulations to Dave for running such a fun event and to everyone who donated and everyone who did daft things in the name of charity. And I still think Joe enjoyed the tights way too much......
Next years Miss model perhaps.....?

Monday, 12 September 2016

My Problem with prereleases

Now that the GenCon wave four new shiny excitement has died down I'm going to have a little moan (shock and horror).

The whole GenCon big prerelease thing is bullshit!

Now I'm fairly new to the whole miniature gaming world so I can only talk from my own recent experience and observations, but every summer the big GenCon show comes around and is used as a showcase for all the new shinies coming out which is great 
I have nothing at all against the GenCon show it's self, in honesty I don't know enough about it to have a real opinion either way.
And I don't have a problem with showing off pretty bits of plastic crack for us all to enjoy.
What I have an issue with is the whole pre-release idea. I think it's a negative for the community and a huge kick in the balls to all the friendly local games store.

I'll start with the quick one. Community- having a prerelease creates a divide between players who can and can't order a big box of toys from the show. I know the idea is that "well everyone has the same opportunity to buy it" but that's not always the case. To make the customs and postage worth it you really need to be putting in a fair sized order and you have to do it over a set few days. Most people have non-gaming lives to deal with as well as a plastic addiction. And time and budgets won't always allow you to order there and then.
We've had the wonderful wave 4 at events issue recently (which I don't fancy getting back into) which wouldn't have happened if the new toys had a proper release instead of a prerelease.

Next issue is the one that really annoys me. Retail sales- Now some of us are lucky enough to have a friendly local games store or if not we at least have a preferred online retailer. Most of these are lead by the market to sell at a discount to rrp, it's too easy to shop around if they don't. This means that every sale really counts and a big new release should be a light in the darkness for them, but then comes the GenCon excitement to piss on the candle.
Big shiny prerelease well there's most your customers gaming budget gone for that month. Following months when the toys are actually released people already have them which means stock sits on the shelf longer instead of the quick return it could of been.
And it's not only the shinies the shop misses out on. Imagine no prerelease, Wave four comes into your local. You buy a book, a crew and a few extras to round out a crew, already great for them. But as you're there you grab some bases to go with the new toys. Maybe some new paints and a fresh superglue. Oh and if you're  getting new models you'll need a bigger case. Etc etc. Sounds extreme but that exactly how retailers survive.

A big in store release could mean a big injection of funds which can be put back into the store and the stock. A good run of releases and the excitement that follows could make or break a store.

I understand that a lot of these issues apply to Wyrd as well and I'm sure the love the big cash injection that comes from the big prerelease weekend and I'm sure it goes a long way to fund the next wave. But I don't think it's a great long term strategy.

Make specials and limited and Miss* (*that's a separate issue I'll moan about next time). Use the show to excite people about the coming release, use the show to reward players with amazing alternative models. But don't use the show to act like a retailer instead of a games company.

Okay rant over, everyone go and enjoy your new toys and books.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

What I do

This is different from my usual type of blog post as it isn't aimed at fellow gamers and geeks but at the people outside the hobby.

For short hand let's call you muggles.

For a while I've been wondering what the muggles, be you family, friends or colleagues must think when I share pictures of little toy soldiers on facebook or when I have a calm and reasonable twitter rant about an FAQ (frequently asked questions, a way of solving small issues with the rules of a game) so I thought it was about time I explained.

First off let me say that when I describe myself as a geek I do it with the up most pride in that fact. Everyone is a geek about something it's one of the joys of living live. If you are a massive football fan, you are being a football geek. If you get really excited about what's happening in Enders or Corrie you are a soap geek. There are food geeks, art geeks, gym geeks and every other type of geek you can imagine. I am among other things a tabletop gaming geek. So once we admit we are all massive geeks I'll go on and explain my particular type of geekness.

I play tabletop games. This term covers a huge range of systems and ideas but to make it simple I'll keep it to three areas of interest.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Lets go Wild.

A brief post to go with a brief break from the wonders of Malifaux I've been painting up something different lately which I thought I'd share.

Earlier in the year I backed a Kickstarter for Wild in the Streets, a low model count skirmish game based around youth couture and street gangs.

As soon as I saw the miniatures pop up on corehammer's facebook page I was in. Great character filled sculpts that you could easily relate to. For me there was no choice it had to be the skinhead gang, I could see how I was going to paint them as soon as I looked at them

A few months later the kickstarter showed up correct and on time (a small miracle compared to some I've heard about)

A great set of models I painted them up straight away and here they are