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What are you looking at?
I have decided I will run a Journeyman League for the local store in Tempe, AZ. This is not something my personality is well-suited to doing, but I want to play and there didn't seem to be anyone else who was going to do it.
Instead of running it weekly, we're going to have it run over a month and let people play when they can. It will give those of us with busy schedules and different availability times a chance to try and schedule a meeting time that will work to get in games. It will also let anyone who has a limited budget get involved because it will spread out the costs of the army over six months.
We're going to start the first of October and I am hoping to get eight to 12 players. If you know any people interested in playing in a Warmachine/Hordes Journeyman League in the central-east part of the Phoenix area, point them here.
What are you looking at?
This was my first game using the Warmachine MK3 rules. Because BGG has yet to add Warmachine MK3 to the database, all my links are to the MKII items. The Game Depot hosted a play day because it was a Saturday Tony was free to play all day, so they scheduled it. I was running late and he and Ira played a game. After they were done got the chance to play.
I played a standard caster-kill game against Tony who was running Cygnar. I arrived with four possible armies using the three warcasters I had. When I was ready to play, I decided on the warjack-centric list.
My Protectorate of Menoth list:
Sovereign Tristan Durant (-28 pts.)
• Crusader (10 pts.)
• Reckoner (16 pts.)
• Vanquisher (17 pts.)
• Redeemer (11 pts)
• Vigilant (9 pts.)
• Hierophant (3 pts.)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6 pts.)
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist (3 pts.)
Vassal of Menoth (3 pts.)
Tony’s Cygnar list:
Commander Coleman Stryker (-30 pts.)
• Centurion (17 pts.)
• Defender (16 pts.)
• Lancer (10 pts.)
• Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (4 pts.)
Trencher Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (16 pts.)
Captain Arlan Strangewayes (4 pts.)
Journeyman Warcaster (4 pts.)
• Charger (9 pts.)
Fist of all I need to point out that both Tony and I cheated in our lists. He should have taken a minimum unit of Trenchers with three Rifle Grenadiers but brought the full unit with them. By the time we realized it, it was too late as the unit was significantly reduced in size and had moved in a position which effected other decisions he made.
When I got home, I realized I cheated, also for Tony, because I didn’t use my Crusader. When I was pulling out the cards for the army, I missed it and didn’t pull the figure.
It was a slow game. I planned to move my monk (the Allegiant of the Order of the Fist) up the right flank and eventually move him into the Cygnar back lines. Tony had the Trenchers on that side and I used a house to screen the monk’s approach. After I did some ranged damage on the Trenchers with the Redeemer’s gun, Tony moved part of the unit around the corner of the house and took a combined ranged shot at the monk. He needed a 10 or 11 to hit (on two dice) and did it. He then did exactly five damage and killed the monk. It was too bad, because I really wanted to use it to frustrate him during the game.
Tony made two errors during the game that really helped me, and all the errors I thought I made were relatively small. I’ll explain them below.
The rest of the game was my using the Choir to make it practically impossible for Tony to shoot my warjacks by making them immune to non-magic ranged attacks. He didn’t press forward with anything for a cople ofturns as I advanced slowly, shooting him with the Redeemer’s many rocket shots, the Vanquisher’s big gun, and Reckoner’s handy gun.
Right after the monk was killed, I used the Vanquisher’s gun to kill quite a few Trenchers and light several more on fire. They had clumped up to get the shot off. So in the end the monk paid for himself by being the demise of the Trenchers that shot him.
Tony’s first mistake was charging the Vigilant with the Lancer. That brought it up where the Vanquisher could crush it. About the same time, I ran the Reckoner behind some woods close to his line and parked him there, creating a no-man's land that Tony would have to contest with something, exposing his back to the Redeemer and Vanquisher, or if he advanced past it, I would be able to shoot in his back with the Reckoner.
This was a stand off from this point. Tony was picking off Choir members, but only one a turn, or none some turns. I was damaging his warjacks little by little. He lost the Journeyman Warcaster and reactivated the Charger with Strangewayes. But I was able to disable the Defender’s hammer, so the Reckoner came out from behind the woods. Then charged the Defender and it was over from there.
I did get to run the Vigilant up through the woods on the right, then slam the Reinholt into Stryker. That’s right, I made an assassination run with a Vigilant! It didn’t kill him, but it did damage him. The next turn, all he had left was the Centurion and a wounded Stryker. I was going to win so we called the game.
Tony’s other big mistake was using the Centurion to screen Stryker and nothing else. It was a waste of points in the middle of the army. He could have used it to charge in and try and break my line, and probably should have. I would have left the Lancer to shield-guard Stryker and used the Centurion to attack. We talked about how he might tweak the list to make it better.
I was happy with how my list worked and it really was a very good choice against the army Tony chose. I did not know what he was playing when I chose it, just that it was a Cygnar list. When I get my figures back from Ken of Rogues Gallery Productions, my painter, I would probably switch out the monk or the Vassal for a Mechanik or two and tweak the list a little that way.
I still had problems activating things in order. There were times when I want to activate Durant and cast a spell that helped the warjacks with melee attacks, but forgot. I had other minor issues during the game, but never asked for a take back. I wanted to learn by enforcing the consequences of the mistakes.
I do not like building 50-point armies in MK3. While they match up with the 35-point lists I liked in MKII, the relative point reduction of the warjacks makes it really, really hard to take a unit that takes up 16 to 20+ points in the list. That can be two heavy-hitting warjacks, and I always want to take a pair of units: one to hit hard and one to support/protect the other. I guess I need to get used to the new design strategy?
Now to re-read the rules and see what I may have done wrong and discover things I should have tried.
What are you looking at?
Since I am getting back into playing Warmachine and trying a new faction, I thought I would ask for some help. I posted the following on the Privateer Press forums and thought I would cross-post here with some minor edits.
Help Bobby learn to play Menoth, or “Forcing an idiot focus!”
I’m looking for advice on how to best learn to be an effective Protectorate of Menoth player. They look like the best faction to learn the intricacies of playing of the game and for recognizing and using the synergies of the game. I've never been good at staying with one faction or warcaster to really learn how to play and hope I can use the launch of the new edition to get better experience and learn how to make the game work for me.
About my experience.
I never played Warmachine MK1. I bought some mercenary figures, but after having some issues with building some of the warjacks, I opened the infantry models and was completely irritated by the sheer number of parts for the grunts that I gave up painting and building minis for a long time.
By the time of Warmachine MK2, I had come back into minis for smaller games, like Malifaux (speaking of difficult minis). A friend mentioned how most of the warjacks were now plastic. I got sucked in and we played it occasionally. I focused on Khador, with some Rhulics, then picked up some Gatormen and then a lot of Trolls.
I picked up the two-player box and was going to give the Protectorate figures to a friend out of state when I visited but he wasn’t interested. I ended up giving them, with a Choir and Vassal, to a friend here while another friend gave a bunch of old Cryx to someone else to try and get some in the board game group interested. It worked a little. The Menoth player’s family growth led to us seeing him less and less, and the others just weren’t as committed. That meant I played games against one guy who had played since MK1 most of the time and usually got my rear handed to me. Not that I am complaining. Well, except about Thagrosh 2 and MK2 Everblight. Khador I was happy to lose to, but I hated seeing him bring the Legion.
When the all-in-one boxes came out, I had extra hobby money available and ended up getting all of them. I got the core eight built and painted and ran out of steam at the Retribution which is mostly built. The idea was to have full armies that would get some of the slightly interested parties to play. (Protectorate-related, I also grabbed the two-player figures again because they were cheap and used the extra bits from the all-in-one to make Templar instead of a second Vanquisher.)
In the end I managed to get in six whole games with the boxes.
I recorded all my plays on the Board Game Geek.
All my Warmachine games played:
All my Hordes plays:
A new edition
Now is Warmachine MK3 (which is still not approved and in the database). I am ready to play with people outside of my group. This might fail because I generally have a problem playing against tournament players because of their bad behavior. I just want to have fun. I also am easily irritated by a lot of people. I am not a real social person.
My problems learning the game and playing it well was the limited pool of players. I never learned how to best use the tricks of the system to my advantage. I really wanted to like the Trollbloods, but couldn’t make them work for me. I found the Krielstone to be a huge area of irritant in the middle of my forces that didn’t feel like it gave enough benefit for the points. But all the Troll players love it always take it. Trolls looked like the Protectorate of the Hordes side of things to me, which is another reason why I am going to try Menoth.
Since I already had a good start with the all-in-one and two-player figures, I thought it would be a good learning experience to play Menoth in a Journeyman league since they were all about the stacking buffs. Plus, I already had a bunch of warjacks, the Choir and a Vassal, and their awesome Exemplar Errants. I had also picked up a unit of the Knights Exemplar.
I picked up some extra figures for the league and because I can’t always help myself on eBay, but am at a spending stand-still for a little while. I’d like to use what I have for now. I’d also like to stay with Malekus when I have the chance to switch casters, just so I am forces to work out better strategies with him. One of my issues with the game is it is easy to drop one caster to move onto another because there is always something greener over the fence.
Some thoughts on the Protectorate of Menoth
Not having a lot of accurate range seems to be the biggest issue facing the faction, especially with Cygnar and the good guns that Khador has in MK3. While there are some good Protectorate warjacks with ranged weapons, they look to be hard to integrate in the Journeyman league because of the way the points are added. I suspect that having a character warjack or two might also be important for the faction down the road. Overall, I like the MK2 box over the new one but believe Malekus can be a useful warcaster and the Castigator is a decent second heavy for him to have in his battle group.
The Journeyman League
The battlebox game looks a little tough. I have a slow heavy that is not as good as the other factions’ heavies. Malekus is not a big spell caster so the arc node (which Khador and the Rhules have not prepared me to play) isn’t much of a help, but he looks like he might be one of the better melee casters in the group from the battleboxes.
I have limited experience using light warjacks other than the gun bunnies that are position and shoot.
After skimming the forums, it looks like I would want to use the terrain to force the other players to move into me, hopefully goading them into a funnel so I can take on one at a time. Or have a free-for-all and engage their jacks/beasts and hope Malekus can eliminate their caster.
Khador looks like the toughest match in Week 1. I have their battlebox and Koslov is not a good one-on-one match-up with Malekus. My thought would be running Repenter around the heavies to try and do some damage (or kill him outright) before Makekus could take him on.
I was initially going to add a Devout, but looking at the box and the challenges, I am leaning towards adding the Crusader for some punch. I’ll still be slow, but only Cryx looks like they can add a heavy.
The Choir and a unit of Knights Exemplar look like my best option. I thought about adding a minimum unit of Exemplar Errants, but they just aren’t as useful as they used to be. This is when the army starts to feel like it is meant to. I have the Choir to help the warjacks.
I plan to reduce the Choir to a minimum unit, add the Exemplar Cinerators, the Vassal, the Vassal Mechanik, and the Covenant.
I was originally planning to add the Reckoner. I was running a point short because of the Devout but since replacing it with the Crusader, I now have 15 points to work with instead of 16. Unfortunately, 15 points doesn’t seem to be enough to work with to deal with my dearth of ranged attacks, unless I want to toss in a Redeemer for 11 to get the inaccurate ranged attacks. Luckily, I will have some time to see what is being played before making the final decision.
I was going to add a minimum unit of Exemplar Errants but now I am not sure and will probably have a better idea after a couple of weeks of the league.
This is where you come in. Any advice on playing the box? Are there tricks I should use and traps I can avoid? I plan on posting my experiences and what I learned, so hopefully the experienced folks will tell me how I am being a huge idiot and how I am doing it wrong or how I could improve on what I am doing.
Thanks in advance to anyone who has read this and is even thinking about offering advice.
Just as a reference for anyone who cares, here are the forces I have to work with here in the desert.
Unpainted figures are in italics. I just picked up another battlegroup from the two-player box for less than the cost of a new heavy – these are not included and are unassembled.
I don’t want to spend more money unless I really have to. Things I am currently willing to buy and might on a whim in the near future are some Wracks, a second Mechanik, and maybe a second Vassal. If I make it through the league and am still playing, I will look at other ways to expand as well. I picked up Amon because of all the jack-heavy lists I’ve seen with him and because the store had him and he was not too expensive. I am a little impulsive on my purchases.
Warcasters: Malakus, Kreoss1, Severius1, Amon.
Light Warjacks: Devout, Redeemer, Repenter x2 (1 unpainted), Revenger.
Heavy Warjacks: Castigator, Crusader, Reckoner, Templar, Vanquisher.
Units: Choir of Menoth, Daughters of the Flame, Exemplar Cinerators, Exemplar Errants w/Officer & Standard, Knights Exemplar x2 (one unpainted).
Solos: Covenant of Menoth, Exemplar Errant Seneschal, Hierophant, Knights Exemplar Seneschal, Paladin of the Order of the Wall, Vassal Mechanik, Vassal of Menoth.
Units: Dannon Blythe & Bull, Herne and Jonne, Horgenhold Artillery Corps, Horgenhold Forge Guard, Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt, Ogrun Assault Corps.
Solos: Eiryss1, Eiryss2, Gorman Di Wulfe, Lord Rockbottom, Rhupert Carvolo.
What are you looking at?
Warmachine and Hordes are back on my radar. (The latest editions are not yet in the database.)
Privateer Press released new editions late last month, retooling the game. Besides the core rulebooks for each game, they released a battle group starter box for each of the main armies that includes a warcaster or warlock and their battle groups and decks of army stat cards, which update all the released models to the new edition.
The awesome thing about these starters is they literally come with everything a new player would need to learn to play the game and have a small starter force with which to use when playing. Included in the box is a digest-size rulebook, which has all the rules. The book doesn’t include the fluff that the full book has nor does it include the huge chunk of army stats included in each book.
The box also has 10 focus/fury tokens and three spell tokens that are the same quality as the tokens they sell for each faction, though these are generic. The down side is they are a dark gray and any writing on the spell tokens with an erasable marker is going to be hard to read. There is also four dice (a nice quality), a laminated paper ruler, a 2’ x 2’ map that can be used when playing a smaller game (like battle box against battle box), a training manual which has a bunch of scenarios laid out to teach game concepts, and a faction-specific booklet.
The map is two-sided and has marks on one side that correspond to the training manual scenarios so it can be used to walk through the training using the models. The training manual has paper templates spray and area effect in it that are used in the game. These can be copied or cut out.
The faction booklet has a short story, tactics advice for using the figures in the box, a recommended army list to grow the force into, and a second army list using many of the same figures with a different warcaster/warlock. There is also a section on how to paint the figures to match the official studio style.
The starters retail for $40, which is 20% less than the previous starters which really only included the figures and none of the other goodies. I know a lot of people that would pay $15 or $20 just to have the rules digest. They are an amazing deal and really do included everything someone would need to learn to play the game.
I’ve picked up five of the faction decks and broke down and bought the Khador starter because I wanted to get their new warcaster. I built the figures the day I got them and they are in the mail to be painted.
Mike and I have been talking and e-mailing about the new edition, just as he’s also been reinvigorated to play Guild Ball and has bought another faction for that game to try. So it looks like I will be playing some miniatures in the future. From famine to feast.
I’m even considering playing with the unwashed masses (i.e., you and the rest of the public ) if the Game Depot runs events.
One thing I learned which might interest experienced players. If your store ordered the pre-order launch kit they received a box of cards for the units that they can give out when they sell a figure so people buying the figures which were produced before the current release can get the current cards for the models. So when buying from your FLGS, ask if they have the current cards for figures.
What are you looking at?
As anyone (you know, the three of you) who regularly check out my musings knows, I've been buying all the limited army boxes released by Privateer Press for the Warmachine family of games. All of them. Eleven of them.
There's one problem with getting so many miniatures. I gave up painting a long time ago. I can do it and am not too bad. I was even paid a couple of times to paint for others. But I came to hate doing it. So now I pay people.
Currently, and for the last few years, I've been using Ken of Rogues Gallery Productions. I found him when I bought some figures off someone on eBay and asked who painted them because one of the figures needed touching up. He does really nice table-top quality paint jobs at a very fair price.
Over the years we've chatted through e-mail as well and he's a great guy. I'm pretty sure he's not a BGG user, so I wanted to toot his horn here and direct any of you who were looking for minis painters over to his Facebook page.
I know he's looking for more work right now as he finishes up my Circle Orboros army for Hordes along with some extras from the Two-player Battle Box. Those are the pictures I've spread through here which I just pulled off his page.
When these are done and in my sweaty hands, I will have the core eight factions painted with three more to go. I have a couple of minor things to finish building the Retribution of Scyrah army, the Convergence of Cyriss and Cephalyx armies are sitting in the boxes demanding to be built. I looked at some of the Cephalyx figure in blisters on the wall at the store this past weekend and really, really don't want to mess with the abundance of tiny metal arms on a few of the figures.
Ken's also painted Dreadball, Warpath, Guild Ball, Relic Knights, Pathfinder figures we use for the card game and some others I am sure I am forgetting.
I've also used regular BGG poster Michael Jordal for a couple of figures (awesome job!) and Euen McMurry, who painted most of my Trollbloods figures and a Malifaux crew. You couldn't go wrong with hiring any of them to do your painting.
What are you looking at?
I was looking for some neoprene mouse material to make myself some terrain to use for Guild Ball to represent rough ground or slick ground since most 3D terrain can make it hard to move figures or can eve make it impossible for some to stand on. Plus, the neoprene would be easier to transport.
Someone on the Guild Ball forums pointed me to the Neoprene Terrain and Zone Kit for Warmachine and Hordes Kickstarter which ends in about a month and they plan on shipping in November.
You can choose to order just the terrain or the zones, or combine them and save a little cash.
I just wanted to point it out for the more casual mini gamers who might not have heard it about it yet.
The terrain is pictured below.
What are you looking at?
Besides getting the Brewer's Guild, I picked up the Union players that would play for them. Later, I picked up some more Union figures and then bought the Fisherman's Guild from a Kickstarter backer who might have overdone it when all was said and done.
I wrote how easy it was to build the Brewer's Guild figures for Guild Ball. Since then I have built the Fisherman's Guild (seven more figures) and all of the Union except two characters (Eleven-ish figures) and these were not all as simple as the Brewer's Guild.
Something fishy this way swims...
The Fisherman's Guild is the fast, score, score, score faction. Generally the figures were not that difficult to assemble, though their tabs were still loose in the base. Green stuff is your friend!
Shark, the team captain, is holding a spear in two hands and they line up pretty good, though it is a little more difficult that lining up Tapper and Hooper of the Brewer's Guild. This is because his right arm is detached at the elbow and not just the hand, so there is just a little more work in making sure everything lines up but it isn't that difficult.
Salt, the mascot otter was more of a pain to assemble. His tail is a separate piece and it is tiny. My final join of it to the body is obvious, even after trying to drill out the hole a little. He also has no tab and only connects to the base by two tiny feet and part of the tail.
Kraken, the giant with the harpoon, only has his hand and weapon to connect and he has a pile of rope which goes on the base. The nub on the arm was bigger than the hole so it took some work to file down the nub and expand the hole so the hand fit on cleanly. It's not something that is unusual to do when building miniatures. I saw some pictures where people connected the rope on the harpoon to the rope on the base, but it doesn't appear to be the actual intent and probably would take some conversion to make work, so I skipped trying to do it. Like a lot of the big guys, he doesn't have a tab but his feet are a pretty good contact point and he should stay put on the base.
Angel only has one piece to attach and it is her hand and weapon. Maybe my eyes are old, but I could not see a definitive point to connect the hand. Sure it seems like the spot is obvious, but there was no definitive hole for the nub to connect to. I am also not happy that the long weapon is connected by such a tiny connection point.
Siren was worse to work with, but not because her pieces weren't all together. She is connected to the base by the tips of her toes and while I was holding her arm to let the glue set I managed to bend her a quite an angle and was afraid she would snap off the tab like Hemlocke did (more on that later). Luckily I was able to straighten her out and glued a small piece of wood to the base and against the bottom of her feet so she is now sturdy. Her arm glued on easily as did her netting/skirt front.
Greyscales was also a bit tricky. He has to be attached to the base in such a way that you can also get his front leg into the anchor spot on the torso while still getting it to look good. I think it might also be possible to attach it in such a way that it would interfere with the harpoon which also is glued on, though it would be difficult. Being the unskilled oaf, I tried gluing the tab into the base with the green stuff filler while gluing the leg on at the same time. I got glue all over my hands but after a bit of fumbling I was able to make it work. If I had shown some patience, gluing him to the base while holding the leg, I bet it would have been easier. His harpoon is connected to both hands and went together quite easily.
Jac went together with little effort. Both arms need to be glued on, but have good contact points.
Overall, the Fishermen weren't as easy to assemble as the Brewer's Guild, but still weren't too difficult. The only real caution is Siren's connection to the base.
Making life difficult
Ahh, the Union. Their sole purpose in the world seems to be to meddle in the affairs of the hard-working guilds who are just trying to make ends meet. At least that was the thought until I started building the figures and decided their real purpose is to increase the suicide rate in miniature builders.
Sure, it all starts off fine with Blackheart, the captain of the team. He has a very dynamic pose, but the figure is well-cut and his sword arm, cape, and head all glue on with no difficulty and he looks smashing. Coin, the mascot is one piece so only a total moron would screw it up. I guess that means I am not a total moron?
Fangtooth is one of the big guys and he is one piece and even has a tab which connects him to the base. So far, so good.
Gutter has one arm to attach, but that arm has a tiny contact point. What prevents her from being a pain to assemble and keep that way when using her is the chain from the weapon also attaches just under the arm and gives a nice two-point connection. She was pretty easy as well.
Rage was cut in an odd way, though I guess I understand the reasoning. His sleeves are rolled up and he is holding a weapon in each hand. The arms were cut at the sleeve and not the shoulders. I think the shoulders would have made better connection points, but these do work. He went together fairly easily as well.
Avarisse & Greede is a strange pair of figures. They count as one in the game. Avarisse is on a big base and he assembles fairly easily. Both arms glue on at the shoulders and are a snap to do. He doesn't have a tab so you have to glue him directly to the base, which is a little bit of a problem since they sculpted the cleats on his feet. So instead of a nice connection point, there are about a dozen tiny points which I suspect won't hold him well. So I laid down some green stuff, pressed his feet into it, and let it set before gluing him to it. The unusual part of him is the big hole in his chest. There are three magnets in the kit and one of them goes in there.
There are two Greede figures, one which fits on a base and one which rides on Avarisse's chest. The one on the base needs to have a tiny arm glued to his tiny body. I am not sure it will stay connected, but it wasn't hard to attach. The rider Greede needs to have both legs attached and one arm. The arm is similar to the one on the other Greede and I feel the same way about it. The legs have much better contact points and should be fine. Then comes gluing in the magnet on the rider. Make sure you have the polarity correct, or you will be out getting some acetone to soak the figure in to dissolve all the super glue. There is one other piece which is the harness that is on Avarisse's chest when Greede is off running around. That also needs the magnet glued into it and also needs to be glued in the right way. I didn't and had to go buy some acetone.
Over all, Avarisse & Greede were pretty easy to assemble. The connection issue with Avarisse's feet was a portent of bigger issues to come and I also know is repeated on at least one figure from the Mortician's Guild.
Hemlocke connects at one toe to the base. I made the mistake of gluing her to the base before gluing on her other leg and arm. I recommend at least gluing her leg on because it connects nicely to her body and the foot connects to her cape and it is easier to position without having the base in the way. I know, I did it both ways. When gluing on her arm, my ham-fisted ways which were again displayed when I tried building Siren of the Fisherman's Guild reared up and bent Hemlocke so bad that she broke right off the tab. I tried to get her to stand on the base using green stuff and glue but nothing worked. I thought about sawing her in half and using the legs of Feiya, the Pathfinder iconic witch figure as someone on the Guild Ball forums did, but once I saw how much additional work would need to be done, I went with convention wisdom and decided to pin her. Since I had the acetone from the magnet fiasco, I dropped her in some to clean off all the glue and green stuff residue. I broke out the tiniest drill bit and was able to insert a pin going up her heel into her ankle and inserted a tiny (0.02") pin. That worked to give her a solid connection to the base. Her arm still has a tiny connection spot and I am worried about it staying connected. I might have tried pinning it, but the tiny bit broke while I was working on her ankle.
Mist is another figure which connects with just a toe. He also has a couple of pieces of his cloak which connect to the front and they go on with no real effort and have great connection points. His foot, however, is a pain. He broke off the tab while I was washing the figure before gluing him (which removes the mold release powder which can make gluing impossible)! I've washed hundreds of figures and never had that happen before. I grabbed the next smallest drill bit I had, maybe 0.03" or 0.035" and tried drilling into his heel but was unable to get a good hole started. Instead, I drilled a hole on the boot overhang so the pin would run parallel down the inside of his ankle. I then built up a little mound on a base with some green stuff, marked where the hole needs to go when it dries and gently pushed the figure into the green stuff so I have a good spot to glue him on later. I want to let the stuff set, so I haven't glued him onto the base yet. I figure I will use some grass or flocking to hide the pin if it is obvious after he is painted.
Snakeskin is another one which connects at one small toe point, but unlike the other she doesn't even have a tab. Luckily, her cape is this and comes close to the ground, so she can be glued with her foot connecting to the base while the hem of the cape also glues to the base. The other thing which I thought about doing was running a pin or two into her cape and connecting them to the base, and if I hadn't had to deal with Mist and Hemlocke, I might have. One of her legs also needs to be glued to the body as do both arms. The connections are pretty good on these. She also has a sword to glue onto her body somewhere, but I didn't see an obvious spot for it so I left it off.
I also have Decimate which showed up after I finished building the rest. She looks easy to build, though one of her epées is really curled up. If I recall correctly, one arm needs to be glued on as well as a cape and she looks like she will go together fairly easily.
The only Union figure I don't own is Minx. She also has one of those one-toe poses and her arms are flailing out and look brittle. I don't know if I will buy her any time soon because I just don't want to deal with worrying about connecting to her base.
Summing it up
The Brewer's Guild is the easiest of the three to build. If you are a novice to building miniatures I would definitely recommend buying them. The Mason's Guild also looks pretty user-friendly when it comes to assembly, though I haven't seen any pictures of the retail version of their captain.
The Fisherman's Guild isn't too difficult, though anyone building them should be way of Siren's feet and Angel's hand plus should be prepared to be patient with Greyscales.
Some of the Union are a breeze to assemble. Blackheart looks awesomely menacing but is still an easy build, but the decision to have so many figures with tiny connection points to bases when the figures are going to be constantly handled and moved is a bit discouraging. I know Mike has had some issues while building his Morticians as well which is one reason we haven't played again, though we hope to play next week since the official play mats will be here!
On the D6 Generation podcast episodethey appeared, the designers did say they learned some lessons from their initial miniature run and let's hope there aren't this many challenges for those looking to buy figures to play with over modelers looking for cool looking figures to paint. Blackheart and the Brewers show that there can be dynamic poses which are easy to assemble and sturdy.
Since the rules for the figures are all available, you can always use proxy figures, like Feiya for Hemlocke, if there is someone you wouldn't want to try building.
The issues were more frustrating for me than challenging. Both Mist and Hemlocke can be built with care and then their feet shored up like I did with Siren or using green stuff to make it look like they are pushing off a rock or a clump of dirt. Knowing what to expect in the future I will be a little more careful with the figures, like I was with Siren, though I am less likely to just buy every team now. This is supposed to be fun for me, not work.
What are you looking at?
The other night, Mike and I played a game of Guild Ball using the Quick Start Rules which can be downloaded from the Guild Ball web site. We had both read the rules on the previous week but were not fluent with them.
We made some mistakes, but both liked the game a few moves in. The game went fast, as you might expect from a shortened, quick start game. Mike ended up winning by knocking out two of the three players on my side and I had scored a goal. We were in a position where I thought wouldn't be able to score and it wasn't likely I would be able to damage him before the head Fisherman would have been eliminated. So we called the game with him winning.
Thinking about it now, I should have kept playing. I would have been able to score if I pulled off a single success to gain a Momentum point, which is needed to shoot, then taken the shot. Oh well. And that's yet another reason why I like the game because there was a to pull that victory out if I had played it just right.
So what about the game?
The number of rules is relatively few and shouldn't take much effort to get the hang of and play a game correctly.
The playbook system for choosing a result for an attack/tackle attempt is brilliant! When a player attacks another, they count the number of success they have then look at the active character's "playbook" and count a number of columns from the left to right on the playbook. Once they reach the point which equals the number of successes the character has they can choose any result from that point, back to the left and the beginning of the playbook. The choices are usually damaging the opponent, pushing the opponent, dodging away from him, knocking them down, taking the ball away from him, or activating a special play. This means the more successes are rolled, the better the chance of pulling off the desired goal.
The players do not have point costs. Each team is made up of one captain model, one mascot model, and four other players. The players are supposed to be balanced and work within the teams, so any player can be used in any game as long as the team construction rules are followed. The way the results are ordered on the individual character's playbook allows the teams to be thematic and synergize with each other.
The model count needed to play is six. That's it. Adding a seventh figure (a fifth normal player) means the team you field can have five different roster choices. Adding an eighth or ninth figure increases the options to 15 and 35 possible teams to play.
The game is also not campaign-driven like many sports games are. There is nothing wrong with campaigns, but I've always had a hard time keeping them going because real life often interferes with fun times and some players just lose interest faster than the rest. There will be a campaign system in the second release, Season 2, but the players are already different from each other and don't need an experience system to give them a personality. They also don't die from under you. Except for one character in the rulebook fluff, but they are still, and will be officially playable in events.
And you can play for free! Did I mention this already? Maybe? Unlike many, many miniatures games, you can try it before you buy it. Even after buying in, you can print the stats out for certain characters and add them to your existing team to see if you want to buy a particular player.
I'm unsure about being able to measure everything before committing to a move or action. In my experience, this could cause the game to drag when playing with some people. Still, with only six players a side, it shouldn't be too big of an issue.
It's also disappointing that there isn't at least some kind of marker for the goals in the team box. Sure, I have lots of 50 mm bases I can use for them, but not everyone buying into the game will be in that position. Maybe Steamforged Games will make some cut-out stand-ups for goals and place them on their site? I did find a link to a company in the U.K. that has a couple of nice MDF ones which might work, so maybe I will order them?
Buying the game
Okay, you can get the game from Armada Games in Florida. Everything is retail, but they don't charge for shipping it (I don't know their overall shipping policies) and they ship quickly. All three of my orders went out the next day and Mike's order placed in the morning (about 11 a.m. Florida time) went out the same day.
They are also responsive to questions and have been helpful when I was first looking into buying the game and even gave me a head's up when a second order of the Play Cards and Tokens arrived after they were short on the initial order. Awesome service! It's like dealing with my FLGS, the Game Depot in Tempe, AZ but they are on the other side of the country.
So far I have the Brewer's Guild, all the Union players that will play for them, the Union captain and mascot as well as a couple more Union figures I ordered when I ordered the rulebook after Mike and I played.
The Union players were a little harder to build with several having very small contact clue points and Hemlocke having one of those as well as a tiny foot on the base and she is east to bend and might break off at the connection to the base.
I suspect I will end up with several teams. All of them are appealing in one way or another. I am also impatiently waiting to get official pitch when it is released. Yeah, it isn't cheap, but the price seems in line with other war game mats. I've even thought about buying the Butcher's Guild and the Fisherman's Guild starters to get painted up and leave at the Game Depot so they will have the figures to let someone (not me) teach the game to potential players using the Quick Start Rules. Assuming, of course, that they will carry the game when it becomes generally available.
What are you looking at?
As I mentioned earlier, I picked up a Guild Ball team, the Brewer's Guild. They were very easy to assemble and everything fit exactly as it should. The one issue I thought I would have is with the character Friday who has a handful of knives in her left hand and that tiny piece is supposed to be glued on to her left wrist. Fortunately, the looks like it was meant to lean against her hip and that made for a really stable gluing point and I don't think I will have any problems with her hand in the future. In her right hand, she is holding a throwing knife which is very thin and pliable and that could break off at some point.
Another small issue I had is the tabs which insert into the bases were very thin and I needed to add epoxy putty to the base slots so the figures could easily be positioned as they were meant to be. Neither issue should be a recurring problem because in the current episode current episode of the D6 Generation podcast, designers and grand poobahs behind Guild Ball, Mat Hart and Richard Loxam, said they learned from the issues in their first batch of miniatures and are mindful of those mistakes when designing future figures.
I have sent the figures off to be painted and hope to have them back soon since there are only six characters, a mascot, and a ball and Ken's a pretty quick painter. That's all that's needed for a team, plus another character so a substitution can be made as needed depending on the opponent.
Did someone say free?!?
Hidden in my earlier post is my saying that the game is free to play. You can download the rules, templates that are needed, and paper stand-ups for the figures from the Guild Ball web site. [http://guildball.com/#downloads]
Do it if you're at all interested because it looks like a really solid mix of a miniatures war game and a sports game. Hart and Loxam did everything they could to reduce the amount of math in the game to streamline the play of the game.
More, more, more
It's really hard for me not to buy even more figures because all seven of the normal guilds and the Union all look awesome. I did order the Union figures which will play for the Brewer's Guild as well as the starter so I can play them as their own team. Mike has ordered the Mortician's Guild and did the same for the Union players which will get on the field with his assortment of unsavory characters.
One of the reasons to resist buying more teams is I really need to focus on one team and their tactics. It's something I always struggle with in miniatures games because I often end up wanting to play multiple factions and leaders. I will likely pick up the extra Union players and am looking forward to getting one of the official play mats which should be available in the next month, or so.
As I post this, I am off so Mike and I can play the quick start game to get the hang of the game and I hope we'll play a full game later in the month. I also hope others in the group will think about getting involved in the game.
What are you looking at?
Oh no, not another one!
Yes, another one.
Guild Ball is a miniatures sports game that is not played on a board with a grid, it is played on a table like a miniatures game and movement is measured with a ruler. The board/pitch is a 3' x 3' area with a goal set on each side. The pitch can be wide open, or might even have terrain in the middle of it which needs to be played around.
The general idea of the game is that the guilds in this world use the soccer-like game to settle disputes, so teams are comprised of guild members. Currently there are seven guilds: the Alchemist's Guild, the Brewer's Guild, the Butcher's Guild, the Engineer's Guild, the Fisherman's Guild, the Mason's Guild, and the Mortician's Guild. There is also the Union, which are the mercenaries of the game and these players can each play for some (or all) of the teams. The Union players even form a full team themselves from time to time.
Most of the currently-available guilds have enough figures to play the game plus an additional figure so the team can be customized a little (not counting the Union players that will play for the guild). To get the full team with the extra figure from the one site which carries the game in the U.S. at this time is right about $100. (The site is Armada Games in Florida.) So it is not the least-expensive game out there, but all any one player needs is a team and without the extra figure that can be had for around $85.
The rules for the game are free. The stats and stat cards for the players are also available to download, as well as the templates needed to play the game and stand-up figures to use in place of the miniatures. That's right, you can download everything you need to play as long as you are willing to work a little bit of arts and crafts to create the stand-ups.
I haven't fully read the rules yet, but it looks fun. The Kickstarter campaign page has a video play through of the first couple of turns of a demo game with one of the Beasts of War guys as well as a discussion of the game after that.
Mike and I plan on trying out the game soon and are likely to order teams before even playing, because that's the kind of addicts we are. I'll make sure to post my thoughts on the game after we play.
P.S. I had a brief e-mail conversation with Aaron from Armada Games last night (very late for Florida time). He responded shortly after I e-mailed a question and was very helpful answering my questions and talking about the game.
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