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Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

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Skorne all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Skorne are the invaders from the east. They are a society of warriors and are an entirely different race than humans, though they are man-sized. They have crossed a great desert to expand their influence and prove their worth as warriors, which is the basis of their society.

In my limited experience, I have not played against nor watched a Skorne army. I do have this army box and used the tips and tricks to help me with the write up.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda (-5 pts.)
• Molik Karn (11 pts.)
• Titan Gladiator (8 pts.)
• Aptimus Marketh (3 pts.)

Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9 pts.)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Supreme Archdomina Makeda is a commander that is focused on boosting her army's killing power. Her weapon is a Magical weapon.

Abilities

Makeda's first ability, Elite Cadre (Praetorian Swordsmen) makes the Praetorian Swordsmen unit, which is included in this army, a more mobile and deadly by bestowing it with Vengeance, the ability to move 3" and make a melee attack if one or more models in the unit is destroyed or removed from play by enemy attacks.

Inspiration (Skorne models) means that she's also quite inspirational (or terrifying!) and prevents Skorne units within her control range (2 x fury stat of 6 in inches) from failing morale checks and fleeing.

Using Stay Death, she can also prevent one trooper model from dying each turn, which is a great way to keep a living shield in the way of enemy, possibly blocking attacks by leaving the model in the path to block the enemy's movement.

Feat

Her feat is called Instruments of War and it's all about killing with a little murder on the side.

It boosts melee attack rolls (makes it easier to hit) and prevents the models from being knocked down. It also makes them immune to being targeted by free strikes, which is an attack an enemy can make if a figures moves past it in its melee range. This allows the Skorne forces to move through screens of figures set up to protect soft, valuable targets and attack those targets.

Spells

Makeda has four spells.

Engine of Destruction can only be cast on herself and boosts her offensive melee capabilities for a round.

Leash is an upkeep spell that cast on a warbeast and allows it to move 3" toward Makeda after she finishes her move.

Road to War lets friendly Skorne models in Makeda's control range move an addition 2" the turn it is cast.

Stranglehold is Makeda's only attack spell. It can damage an enemy and if it does the enemy will have to forfeit its movement or action on its next turn.


The Battlegroup

This army comes with two heavy warbeasts one of which might be described as cruise missile and the other is a land fortress.

Molik Karn is not the biggest heavy warbeast, but he's one of the really dangerous ones. He's the missile you will want to be launching at the enemy warlock or warcaster. He's armed with two falchions which have Reach and he's a Weapon Master with them, which means his damage rolls get an extra die. He also has Combo Strike which combines two attacks into one, boosting the power of the attack.

He has Affinity [Makeda] which boosts his fury to 5, making him more dangerous because he's already pretty efficient using it because of Future Sight which lets him boost attack and damage rolls after rolling!

Karn's Intuition is a nice defensive ability that allows Makeda to force him to gain a fury when he is hit by an enemy which forces the enemy to reroll the attack dice. He also has Side Step which lets him move 2" after one of his initial attacks hits, which grants him some nice mobility one combat starts. His final ability, Chieftain [Cyclops], has no impact on this list.

Fate Walker is Karn's animus and can only be cast on himself (and Makeda can cast it on herself). It allows Karn to make a full advance after all models have moved at the end of the turn.

The Titan Gladiator is the closest thing to a living Khador warjack that you will see. It's slow, has a high armor, and hits really hard, but what else would you expect from a four-armed giant anthropomorphic pachyderm? It has three initial attacks: a war gauntlet on each arm and his tusks. The Gladiator also has a Hard Head which allows it to add the power of the tusks into head-butt and slam power attack damage rolls.

It's Bullheaded which has it make slam power attack instead of a charge if it frenzies. Follow Up allows it to move directly up to a model it hit and knocked back with a slam attack, which is really nice because Grand Slam lets it make slam attacks without being forces and models it slams are moved an additional 2" away.

The Gladiator's animus is Rush. It targets a friendly warbeast, including itself, and it gives +2" of movement and the Pathfinder ability.


Units

The Cataphract Incindiarii is a heavy-armored light mobile artillery. They are armed with an Incindus and an Incindus Blade. Both weapons causeThe Incindus causes the Continuous Effect: Fire when a model is hit by one of them. The Incindus is essentially a grenade launcher which is good at clearing out infantry by roasting them. The Incindus Blade is a decent melee weapon when they have to get into HtH combat. They have Combined Ranged Attack which lets them focus their fire on an target and gain pluses to hit and damage. They are also Fearless and have eight wounds each.

Praetorian Swordsmen are an offensive machine. They are armed with two swords and can attack with each of them separately, or use the Combo Strike to make one attack which is stronger. They have Penetrating Strike so when they hit they can just do one point of damage instead of rolling for damage against warbeasts and warjacks., which is a great way to weed out troopers. They also are granted Vengeance by Makeda, allowing them to be more mobile when they are being attacked by the enemy.

Paingiver Beast Handlers are included to handle the warbeasts. I know it's not obvious, but follow along and you'll see why the Beast Handlers are meant for that. The Beast Handlers are armed with a barbed whip which has Reach and Inflict Pain which lets it add or remove a fury point from a warbeast that is hit. This can be used mess with the enemy's plans for fury and can end up forcing beasts to rage. Like many support units, they have an ability that grants one of three options a turn to a faction warbeast. It is called Beast Manipulation and each beast can be the recipient of only one them a turn. The three possible actions are:

Condition allows them to place or remove any number of fury points from a warbeast.
Enrage gives a warbeast +2 STR and it must charge or make a slam or trample power attack without being forced during its next activation.
Medicate heals d3 damage points and can only be used once per turn on a beast.

The Paingiver Beast Handlers are also quite capable of whittling down enemy troops of the living persuasion because of their Anatomical Precision ability which lets them choose to do one point of damage after rolling for damage and not penetrating the target's armor.


Solos

Only Aptimus Marketh who is attached to Makeda's battlegroup.

Aptimus Marketh is character that is attached to the Warlock Warlock's battlegroup. His main purpose appears to be to cast one of Makeda's spells (including the animi from the warbeasts), which he can do once each turn. The strategy guide included in the box suggests casting the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus is the obvious choice, but that's against the rules. It is nice to see that even the publisher can sometimes get a rule wrong.

He also collects "soul tokens" when a friendly model is killed within 8" of him. He can use the soul tokens to increase his number of attacks, his chance to hit, or his damage. He can also use soul tokens in place of fury to maintain upkeep spells, which are spells that generally cost one fury/focus to keep going on turns after they are initially cast.


Summing it all up

The infantry of the Skorne does not get a lot of the bonuses that the Khador and Protectorate of Menoth units get. They are pretty much left to fend for themselves and the best strategy might be to use them to clear the way for Molik Karn, who does get all kinds of upgrades from others to move in and create mass amounts of havoc.

As I said above, Molik Karn is the missile. Here's what you need to do to launch him at his greatest capability.
• Be sure to have Makeda's Leash spell on him.
• Have Makeda or Aptimus Marketh cast the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus on him. (+2" of movement and Pathfinder.)
• Move Makeda towards the enemy, making sure Karn's target ends up in her control area if at all possible. Molik Karn then moves 3" towards Makeda. (+5" bonus movement so far.)
• Have Makeda cast Road to War (+2" movement -- +7" total)
• Have Makeda pop her feat (boosted attack rolls, immunity to free strikes).
• Enrage Karn with the Beast Handlers.
• Unleash the hounds!

Karn will be able to charge 13" from his starting spot, which is 3" closer than where he started. He has reach, so he can hit anything that is within 15" of where he charged from. Once he likely hits the first target with an initial sword attack, he can use Side Step to move 2" more, make another initial attack, move 2" more if he needs to, and he will still have all his fury, boosted melee attacks, and the ability to boost damage after seeing what was rolled.

If, for some reason, he ends up with a couple fury left after making his power play, he can use his own Fate Walker on himself and make a full move to put himself in better position, though if you pull this off there is a good chance that the enemy just lost their warlock and the game.

And if that doesn't work you still have the Titan Gladiator which is capable of dealing out all kinds of damage and can be the target of the same spells and abilities used on Karn if he's not around.

Makeda can also perform quite well when making an assassination run against the other general because of the Engine of Destruction spell.

It appears to be a nice army built mostly around the Molik Karn missile tactic. Others can work, but this army doesn't feel as well-rounded as the first two I looked at. But does it need to be since it has the most powerful single tactic so far with enough support to clear out any annoying infantry and solos that might stand in the way.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:45 pm
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Protectorate of Menoth all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Protectorate of Menoth is rebel scum. Not the friendly rebel scum you might see a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away or somewhere in the Americas in the mid-1770s. No, these are religious zealots that want to spread their strict beliefs to everyone and to burn all heretics, i.e., those that think different from them. At least Cryx has the decency to reanimate you after they kill you!

Considering how many times I have played against Menite forces, I really don't know much about them. They are known as being an army that is all about synergy and the list below really highlights that.

I wrote this up without having the Army Tips from the all-in-one box because I don't own this one. Mike has it and I wanted to see what I would be facing in a week or two, and I am not sure I like what I see.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Grand Scrutator Severius (-6 pts.)

• Reckoner (8 pts.)
• Vanquisher (8 pts.)
• Redeemer (6 pts.)
• Hierophant (2 pts.)

Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)
Knight Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)

Exemplar Errant Seneschal (2 pts.)
Vassal of Menoth (2 pts.)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Grand Scrutator Severius has mad skills. His Focus stat is an 8, which is one of the highest in the game. You don't want to see him in HtH combat with most other warcasters because he's just not that skilled at melee attacks. He's armed with a staff which is a Magical Weapon and has Reach.

Abilities

Convert is the reason I might end up hating this guy more than any other I've faced in the past. It allows him to take control of a living enemy non-character trooper model for the rest of the game if the model fails a command check.

Sacred Ward is a nice defensive ability. It means he cannot be targeted by enemy spells. Ever.


Feat

Divine Might might better be called Nullification. When the feat is activated, enemy models in his control range cannot cast spells, do not replenish focus, and lose their Arc Node advantage; essentially castrating warcasters and spell casters.


Spells

Ashes to Ashes is an attack spell that targets a model. If the model is hit, it and d6 nearest enemy models within 5" of it are hit by a fire attack.

Death Sentence is an upkeep spell that targets an enemy model/unit and lets friendly units reroll missed attacks against that model/unit.

An awesome defense buff, Defender’s Ward is an upkeep spell that gives a target faction model/unit +2 DEF and +2 ARM. It's definitely something that should be on something in the army every turn.

The Eye of Menoth is an upkeep spell that he casts on himself. It give friendly faction models in his control range +1 to attack and damage rolls.

Immolation is an attack spell that targets an individual model which, on a critical hit causes, you guessed it! The Critical Fire Continuous effect.

Vision is yet another upkeep spell and looks to target just a model, not an entire unit. The next time the model is directly hit by an attack, it suffers no damage from that attack. Put this on a heavy warjack and sit him in front of one of the enemy's big guns. Yowzer!


The Battlegroup

The Reckoner carries a big stick, and that's not all. It is armed with a big club named the Consecrator that has reach, and a cannon named the Condemner that has the standard Menite ability to set things on fire, though this one requires a critical hit to set things ablaze. The cannon also has the Flare ability which reduces the defense of a hit model by 2 for a round, softening up those hard to hit targets. Because of its Assault ability this warjack can shoot the cannon at the target of its charge. On top of that, it has the Ashen Veil ability which makes it harder for living enemies within 2" hit it. All-in-all, it's a solid warjack.

The Vanquisher is armed with a huge ball and chain and a cannon that has a large area effect attack. The cannon causes all the normal Menite fire effects as well as having a 4" area instead of the much more common 3" AOE. So set those enemy troops on fire and watch them burn!

The Vanquisher's ball and chain has the Chain Weapon special ability which lets it ignore any DEF and ARM bonuses the its target gets from shields. It also has the Thresher special attack which allows it to attack every model in its melee range. This is the warjack that should be used to clean out enemy units both by its cannon and its swinging ball of death.

One of only two different light warjacks in any of the all-in-one armies, the Redeemer is one of the two sources of area effect attacks in the army. Its missiles have a terrific range of 16" but are Inaccurate and this makes them -4 to hit anything. Its melee weapon is a mace and it packs a standard punch for a Menite light warjack. Since there is just one army box with a light warjack, I suspect this one will spend a lot of time protecting Severius or hunting solos and damaged large 'jacks and warbeasts.


Units

When I was initially looking into playing Menoth a few years ago when I started playing the game, there was one thing which seemed required in every Protectorate list. That is the Choir of Menoth which is nothing but a support unit for warjacks. Their only ability is called Hymn and it only works on warjacks. There are six of them in the full unit. Here are the three possible benefits:

Battle: Gives a warjack +2 to hit and +2 to damage rolls for the turn.
Passage: Prevents the warjack from being targeted by non-magical ranged attacks and gives the warjack the Pathfinder ability for the turn.
Shielding: Prevents the warjack from being targeted by enemy spells for a round.

The Hymns have a range of only 3", so the Choir needs to stay close to the warjacks to help them out. Basically, if you have a Menoth army and you don't have a Choir, you're doing it wrong. Every member of the Choir is armed with a staff which has reach and they are capable of protecting themselves against enemy units, but if you are attacking with them you're probably in a position where the game is almost over and you are likely losing.

The Exemplar Errants were used against me in the first game I played with constructed armies. I hated them then and looking over them now I still hate them. That's a good thing if you are playing this army. They are armed with a magic crossbow and a sword. The unit has Advance Deployment which allows them to be placed closer to the enemy at the beginning of the game.

They are also Fearless and will never flee and have the Self Sacrifice ability which is more annoying than it might sound. With Self Sacrifice, they are able to remove another model in the unit when one of them is killed. This means a single figure can remain in place, blocking an attack path or holding an objective, until the last model is killed, usually the Exemplar Errant Seneschal in this list. The heavy crossbow is Blessed and ignores spell effects that boost the target's defense and armor. They are also Weapon Masters which means they add a die to their damage rolls.

The Errants are both a nice tarpit as well as being an efficient killing unit which become even more efficient when the Exemplar Errant Seneschal solo is in play, which he is in this list. If you end buy the army box and end up expanding your army, look at the unit's leader unit attachment. It makes them even a bigger pain to face. I hate these guys.


Solos

Including the Hierophant, This army comes with four solos.

The Exemplar Errant Seneschal explains why the Exemplar Errants UA was not included in the army. This guy is everything an Exemplar Errant is and more. He's armed just like the unit with the magic crossbow and sword. He also has the Weapon Master ability with the sword and both the Advance Deployment, and Fearless abilities. His Commander ability means units in his command range can use his command stat when making command checks, which in this army doesn't come into play too much since most everything has a high CMD value. He also has the Assault ability so he can shoot the at the target of its charge, even if he ends up short of being in combat with the target.

Two of the Seneschal's abilities work really well with the Errants. His Call to Sacrifice [Exemplar Errants] works like their Self Sacrifice ability except he heals a wound when of his men die. The Seneschal's Hunter ability ignores forests, concealment, and cover when determining LOS which is cool for the solo, but his Leadership [Exemplar Errants] gives the Hunter ability to the whole freaking unit of Exemplar Errants. I hate those guys.

The Sycophant, umm, Hierophant is attached to the warcaster and is support model for Severius. Its Harmonious Exaltation is an action it can take which reduces the focus cost of one of the warcaster's spells by one. The Hierophant's Spiritual Conduit ability boosts the range of the warcaster's spells by 2". He's also a healer when he uses the Heal action to heal 1d3 from a living model in base contact with it. He's the equivalent to boosting Severius' focus by one for casting spells with some healing thrown in for good measure.

The Vassal of Menoth is all about boosting warjacks. He has the Iron Sentinel ability which gives him +2 DEF and ARM and cannot be knocked down when in base contact with a faction warjack. He also has a Magic Ability which is the statistic he uses when making a magic attack. He has two actions that target a faction warjack and a spell; he can use one of them each round. The actions are Ancillary Attack which lets the faction warjack make a normal attack and Enliven make a full advance after taking damage. The spell is Arcane Bolt which is a decently-powered magic attack.

Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord is a nice supporting mercenary character. He has three tunes he can play which affect a friendly unit in his command range.

Dirge of Mists gives the unit +1 DEF and they cause Terror for one round.
Heroic Call makes affected models Fearless and Tough for one round.
March makes the unit Pathfinders for one turn.


Summing it all up

This army is all about having two alpha units and making sure they are buffed to the highest possible level. First you have Severius' battlegroup which is supported by the Hierophant, that buffs Severius. Then there's the Choir and the Vassal that increase the effectiveness of the warjacks. Add Severius abilities and spells and this is a dangerous group to face.

Then there's the Exemplar Errants which are a really good unit on their own. Adding the Seneschal's Hunter ability and the musical styling of Carvolo and they just become tougher and even more annoying. Did I mention that I hate these guys?

The trick, like with pretty much every army in the game, is to activate the units in the right order and use the right abilities at the right time to give the attacks the biggest punch possible. If you are wanting to be forced to learn how to make good tactical decisions in Warmachine, this might just be the army to play.

Important safety tip: Remember is make sure you have plenty of markers to indicate which figures are on fire when playing this army or playing against it.

I really need to look at the strategy tips and growing your army cards the next time I'm at Mike's, because adding things to this army will just make them even more annoying and I'm interested in their suggestions.
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:20 am
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Wins, losses, and more

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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Since I am planning on getting several of the upcoming and already-released all-in-one army boxes for Warmachine and Hordes and am posting my thoughts on those armies, I decided to look at the games I had played and then ended up breaking it down by factions and warcasters/warlocks.

Here are the factions I've played with my record with them.

Khador (3 wins, 4 losses)
• Butcher of Khardov, a.k.a. pButcher (2-2)
• Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, a.k.a. pSorscha (1-2)

Mercenaries: Searforge Commission (2 wins, 4 losses)
• Gorten Grundback (2-3)
• General Ossrum (0-1)

Trollbloods (0 wins, 4 losses)
• Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia, a.k.a, eDoomshaper (0-2)
• Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller, a.k.a, pGrissel (0-2)

Minions: Blindwater Congregation (3 wins, 4 losses)
• Bloody Barnabas (3-4)

These are the factions I've played against and my record against them.

Cryx (1 win, 1 loss)
• Iron Lich Asphyxious, a.k.a pAsphyxious (0-1)
• War Witch Deneghra, a.k.a. pDeneghra (1-0)

Khador (0 wins, 7 losses)
• Supreme Kommandant Irusk, a.k.a. eIrusk (0-1)
• Karchev the Terrible (0-1)
• Old Witch of Khador (0-2)
• Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, a.k.a. pSorscha (0-1)
• Vladimir Tzepesci, a.k.a. pVlad (0-2)

Menoth (4 wins, 2 losses)
• High Exemplar Kreoss, a.k.a, pKreoss (4-2)

Retribution of Scyrah (1 win, 1 loss)
• Kaelyssa (1-1)

Circle Orboros (0 wins, 1 loss)
• Baldur the Stonecleaver, a.k.a pBaldur (0-1)

Legion of Everblight (1 win, 4 losses)
• Lylyth, Herald of Everblight, a.k.a. pLylyth (1-2)
• Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight, a.k.a. pThagrosh (0-2)

Trollbloods (1 win, 0 losses)
• Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan, a.k.a. pMadrak (1-0)

My overall win-loss record is a little better than I thought it would be, but several of the wins were against brand new players.

I had forgotten that I actually beat one of Alex's Everblight lists, though it was Lylyth and not Thagrosh. I also figured my record against Khador would be bad, but this is even worse than I thought it would be.

I have never played a game that included Cygnar, Skorne, or the Convergence of Cyriss. I don't plan on getting the Cygnar all-in-one army box, so unless someone starts hanging out with us who plays them, I doubt I will play against them anytime soon. I already have the Skorne box so they should be represented soon and if a Convergence of Cyriss box is announced and released, I will definitely get one of those as well.

I already have the Khador and Trollbloods armies so I didn't get their boxes, I just picked up a couple of figures that I needed. I am not going to get a Dire Troll Blitzer and will proxy a Dire Troll Bomber in its place because I never liked the Blitzer. If I change my mind on it I will buy one later.

I have purchased the Skorne box and the models are assembled and off to be painted (as are a couple of Trollblood figures). I just pulled the trigger and picked up the Legion of Everblight box, which means I am going to end up with all four of the Hordes armies. I am planning on getting the Cryx and Circle Orboros boxes next month and am likely to get the Retribution of Scyrah box though I might skip it if a Convergence box is announced.

I don't plan on buying any extra figures for any of the armies which I didn't already own, though I do have a few random Cryx figures that I got on eBay over the years, usually in lots with other things.

So when all is said and done, I will have six or seven 35-point fixed armies that I can use to get others to play the game. Is having that many a bit of overkill? Yeah, but it's me we're talking about and that's my M.O.
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Thu Apr 9, 2015 3:35 pm
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Khador all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Khador is one of the human super powers. They are analogous to Imperial Russia and have great manpower but limited tech resources, so their warjacks are all heavies because they have fewer of the resources to make their cortexes, or brains, and want to protect them as much as possible. They invaded their neighbor Llael, which started a war with their rival, Cygnar.

Their army is not the most mobile nor best equipped, but it is massive. Their warjacks can take the most punishment, and can also deal out quite a bit. One of their weaknesses is also a limited amount of magical attacks.

I wrote this up without having the Army Tips from the all-in-one box because I had practically everything I needed to create the army without it and picked up what I needed to fill out the list.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War Dog (1 pt.)

Widowmakers (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer (x3) (3 pts.)
• Winter Guard Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt (4 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff has a little attack, a little defense and boosts her army a little, making her a well-rounded warcaster that should work well with the army in the box. Like all warcasters and warlocks, her attacks are magical. Her weapon is melee only but has a reach of 2" and has the Critical Freeze ability. Critical freeze makes a model stationary if the to-hit roll is a critical hit and the target is not immune to cold effects.

She is also armed with a gun, the Quad-Iron, which has the Multi-Fire ability which lets her make additional attacks against the last model hit or a target within 2” of it as long as she keeps hitting, stopping at three additional attacks.

Abilities

Immunity: Cold is exactly what it sounds like. Sorscha is immune to cold effects.

She also has a couple of abilities which boost the abilities of Winter Guard units. Desperate Pace [Winter Guard] is a command she can give during her activation to give a Winter Guard unit +2" of movement for a turn. The Elite Cadre [Winter Guard] lets the Winter Guard units reroll missed ranged attacks.

Finally, Warjack Bond allows her to bond with one of her warjacks which gives it Immunity: Cold. When an enemy model ends its activation within 2" of the bonded warjack, the enemy model becomes stationary for one round unless that model has Immunity: Cold. Bonding a warjack also allows Sorscha to apply one more focus to the bonded warjack each turn.


Feat

When Sorscha pops her feat, Winter’s Chill, damage in excess of an enemy model's ARM that does not have Immunity: Cold gets doubled.


Spells

Boundless Charge is a spell that can be cast on a unit or individual model that gives the unit Pathfinder and +2" of movement. This would be cast when you want to move some something through rough terrain, or right before attacking.

Cyclone has a range of "self" so Sorscha would cast it on herself. It allows her to make a full advance, which is up to her SPD stat in inches, plus any bonuses, and then make a melee attack against every model in melee range, which is 2" since her weapon has reach. While moving, she can't be targeted by free strikes.

Freezing Grip is an expensive attack spell that makes a model/unit Stationary unless it is immune to cold.

Iron Flesh is a great way to boost the DEF of a model or unit, but at a small price: the target unit loses 1 SPD and gains +3 DEF. This is an upkeep spell that can be maintained.

Razor Wind is another attack spell. It has a range of 10" and decent punch. I don't see using this a lot, but it could come in handy against solos or wounded warjacks or beasts.

Shatter Storm is spell which buffs attacks and would work really well with the Winter Guard or Widow Makers. Any model killed by an attack from that model/unit explode, creating a 3" diameter explosion centered on the model killed.


The Battlegroup

The Demolisher is mobile bunker. It comes with two arms built like reinforced shields which it holds against itself as it advances, giving it an incredibly high armor while the arms are intact. This is the Armored Shell ability. It also has the Bulldoze ability, which pushes any model it comes into base contact with back up to 2". This can be useful for clearing the way for something else to see or charge through the new gap towards a previously-protected target. It's also Girded, which means it does not suffer damage from blasts and neither do friendly models in base contact with it. It's armed with two shoulder-mounted cannons that have a nice kick and cover a 4" radius blast area. It can also punch with both hands and has the Gunfighter ability which allows it to use both either its cannons and or fists when it is in melee combat. The Demolisher looks to me to best be used as a screen while using it's cannons on the enemy, but I wouldn't be afraid of running up against a threat.

The Spriggan is armed with a couple of shoulder-mounted grenade launchers, a nasty lance, and a carried shield which boosts it armor value. The grenades have a decent range and power and also have the ability to launch flares, which place a 3" diameter template which reveals hidden and camouflaged models. The war lance adds two to the strength of +2 to hit during a charge. The Spriggan also has the has the Bulldoze ability. Like all Khador warjacks, it is tough, slow, and hits hard. This is the one which I would use as the main attacker of the pair of warjacks and would likely choose as the one bonded to Sorscha.


Units

The Widowmakers are a small, four-model unit of snipers. They have Advance Deployment and Pathfinder. They also have Camouflage, which makes them harder to hit when they are in cover, and Sniper, which means they can either do normal damage or choose to do one point of damage which is enough to kill most trooper units. It also allows them to target the column they are going to damage on a warjack or warbeast.

The Winter Guard Infantry included is known as the Winter Guard Death Star, which is a full unit of 10 troopers, three Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeers, with the Winter Guard Officer & Standard. By itself, the unit is an average unit of soldiers with a combined ranged attack. The three Rocketeers give them some area-effect ranged attacks to help soften up the enemy. The Officer bestows combined melee attack upon the unit, as well as allowing the unit to advance defensively with the Bob and Weave order, making them harder to hit. The Standard Bearer's Grapeshot lets the unit make spray attacks instead of normal shots which target one model. The additions make the unit tougher and hit harder, but the advantage is there are now fifteen models that can be used as a screen to slow down the enemy advance. This is called being a tarpit unit and this is supposed to be one of the best. But wait, there's still more to come.

Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt is a mercenary unit of two figures. Lady Aiyanna's job is to protect the two of them with her defensive spells, then mark a target, making it easier to hit damage, much like a modern trooper will mark a target with a laser for a missile strike. She can also make a unit or model's attacks magical, which fills in a gap in Khador's, and this list's, weaknesses. Holt is a shooting machine, with two shots and a high MAT. He can also shoot twice and melee twice the same turn. They are a nice support unit that can also help protect a flank. Aiyanna's spell which give's them Stealth will also be useful when there are objectives to occupy.

Solos

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich is like that party official you read about and see when stories are being told about the Russian army in WWII. He marches along with the unit spouting propaganda and stories of heroism to inspire the troops. He has three speeches to choose from each turn.

Bear's Strength gives the unit +3 STR.
Courage of the Forefathers makes the unit Fearless and Tough.
For the Motherland gives the unit boosted attacks.

For me, it's all about the Courage of the Forefathers because of Tough. That ability means when a model is killed, it makes a roll and survives 1/3 of the time, getting knocked down instead of being removed from the table, possibly leaving the model around to slow down their advance even more. And when it is time to make the final assault, there is Bear's Strength and For the Motherland.

The War Dog is not a warjack. It's a dog that is attached to a warcaster. It's job is to protect the warcaster and it is good at what it does. First, it has the Counter Charge ability, which allows it to interrupt the enemy's turn when an enemy model ends its move within 6" of it. The dog then gets to attack the figure. It also has the Return ability, which lets it move back to Sorscha once it's finished attacking. Is the enemy being sneaking and hiding in the woods or some other cover? It won't matter because the war dog is also a Hunter which ignores forests, concealment, and cover when determining LOS. Finally, the Guard Dog ability boosts Sorscha's DEF, making her hard to hit, and also protects her flank by negating any bonus a model would get by attacking her from the back.


Summing it all up

The real keys to running this force are using Kovnik Joe's speeches to first make the Winter Guard tough while advancing them, then causing as much havoc as possible with the boosted attacks, Grapeshot, any other boosts or spells (such as Elite Cadre) to make them as dangerous as possible. Meanwhile, the Widowmakers and Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt can work on guarding flanks, harassing the advancing enemy, and generally being a thorn in the plans of the enemy.

Sorscha and the warjacks should advance behind this as support artillery until they have the chance to grab the objective or kill the enemy leader.

It all sounds easy. My problem playing the game system is I forget to activate the units the proper order, meaning I don't operate at maximum efficiency. This seems like a nice list to help me learn to do that.

Next I am going to look at the Protectorate of Menoth box. I don't plan on getting it, but Mike has it and I'll be facing it sometime in the next couple of weeks with the Khador list and probably should scout the enemy ahead of time.
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Thu Apr 9, 2015 12:25 am
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Warmachine and Hordes - starting up again...

Bobby Warren
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Privateer Press, the maker of Warmachine and Hordes has been releasing all-in-one army boxes for the various factions in the games. These are 35-point armies and include a small version of the game's rule book as well as some tips for playing and growing the army.

These armies are a terrific deal and I thought I would pick up one or two of them so I would have armies that I could use to let my friends play and that would be generally balanced against each other.

The problem with these armies is they are very limited and are selling out practically right away. I've picked up one and have my eye on a couple of future ones. I also have everything included in two of the boxes, so I can build those forces as well.

As I get the boxes, I will try and write up an overview of the figures included in the armies and discuss their purpose and use in the game. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. First, I just haven't played the game as much as I would like and I still don't understand a lot of the subtleties and timing needed to be really good at the game. Doing this will force me to look closely at the interaction of the specific models and think of ways they can be best used.

I also wanted to have something written down for my friends to look at to help them decide which of the armies they might want to try.

A quick overview of the games

Both Warmachine and Hordes forces are built around a leader and their battlegroup. In Warmachine the leader is called a warcaster and their battlegroup consists of one or more warjacks, which are large, steam-powered machines of war.

In Hordes, the leader is called a warlock and instead of machines, they command large beasts such as dire trolls and dragon spawn.

The leaders are the most important models in the game. No matter what the scenario's victory conditions are, a player loses immediately if their leader is killed.

Depending on the size of the battle, each force is complimented by squads of soldiers, solo characters, and even an occasional artillery piece. The 35-point armies in the all-in-one battle boxes are for one of the more popular battle sizes.


Differences in the games

While the games are designed to be played against each other, there are is one significant difference, which is how the leader and their battlegroups operate.

In Warmachine, the warcaster's magical power is represented by their focus statistic. Each turn, they either allocate some their focus to allow their warjacks to take actions beyond a normal walk and/or attack, or they 'caster will keep some or all of their focus to cast spells.

A warjack with focus allocated to it can run, make special attacks, improve its chance to hit or do damage, or use the focus to make an additional attack. A warjack can be allocated no more than three focus a turn and any unused focus is removed at the beginning of the next turn.

Hordes handles warbeasts in an almost reverse manner. Each warlock has a fury which represents magical power that the warlock draws from their beasts and they use to cast spells and can even spend it to transfer damage they take to one of their beasts.

When a warlock wants a warbeast to take one the expanded actions that a warjack can spend focus to do, the beast has to be forced. Forcing a beast adds a fury point to the beast and then the beast will take that action. Each beast has a limit to the number of fury points it can have on it. At the beginning of the next turn, a warlock can remove an amount of fury from his warbeasts up to his fury stat.

Should a beast have any fury remaining on it, there is a chance that it will frenzy and it will lash out in an uncontrollable rage, possibly attacking a friendly figure, possibly the warlock!

Each warbeast also a spell-like ability called an animus which they can be forced to use. A warlock can also cast the animi of their warbeasts like a spell.

In each game, the leader has a powerful ability called a feat, which is a one-use power that can change the flow of the battle. They are varied and, along with the character's spell list, help define play style of the commander's force.

So that's a rough overview of game. There are a lot of how to play videos on You Tube, and Privateer Press made a couple of videos a few months ago. The first is a 38-minute video on how to play Warmachine and the second is a short video discussing using terrain the game.
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Wed Apr 8, 2015 5:00 pm
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Games Played in March 2015

Bobby Warren
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I played fewer games this month than I have in a while. Lives get in the way of fun. Still, I get to play a lot more games than many people get to, so who am I to complain?

I'm really in the mood to play Warmachine/Hordes again. Hopefully, I will have one or more playings of one of the games this month.

In March, I played 17 games a total of 38 times and two expansions a total of 4 times. Three of the games were new to me, and I played seven of the games and both of the expansions in February.

Augustus
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 8

I remembered to both bring it along and to grab it when we were looking for something quick to play. I need to make a label for the small, white sports card box I am using to store and transport this game.

Nico won both of the games we played.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals: Batman vs The Joker
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and I split a couple of games and I liked it.

Our games highlighted the biggest problem with the game: If one player makes a jump into a lead, it can be difficult for the other players to make a comeback.


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico and I taught Michael how to play and it ended up being a very close game. I believe we all thought I was going to win, and I did score the most end-game points, but Nico had hid is in-game engine going better and ended up winning. The final scores were 72, 69, and 69.

After the fourth play of this game, I am still enjoying it quite a bit.


Diamant
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 9

Two games had us all laughing out loud. The Diamant version has vastly superior components to the Incan Gold version.


Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this several times.

The WizKids rule book is weak and does not do the game justice. You'll need to get several clarifications on the new concepts to understand how to use the game.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

We played a three-player and a two-player game of this. I really like it as a two-player and am leaning towards saying it works best that way, though I want to play it a few more times to be sure.

Writing this up reminded me to e-mail Dave at the Game Depot to ask him to order a copy for me.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Played at Mike's.


Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this once. I think it will take a few games to get the hang of the play style, but it was a lot of fun and definitely a much better entry into the series than Bonnie and Clyde.


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 6

With four players, it felt like the player going last was at a disadvantage because the other players were able to best take advantage of the events that popped up, often leaving him not being able to take advantage of it as much as those moving earlier.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea three of the games.

Michael, Shawn, and I played the last three scenarios in Adventure 1, The Wormwood Mutiny with Feiya, Valeros, and Lini.

Then Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I finished the last three scenarios of the Raiders of the Fever Sea adventure and are ready to advance further on. I'm really appreciating playing Damiel. His alchemy powers are awesome!


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Also played at Mike's. I will take this one to the store this month and try and get it played with more than two players.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts but not with the Orb.

One game with Michael and Shawn. I think this was just the second or third time Shawn had played. That's like less than 0.5% of the times I have played the game!


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 6

Nico and I were playing another game at the store when Patty introduced Parker and Justin who really liked this game, and we were happy to play a few games.

I am liking this more than I originally did, though still not enough to buy it myself. Both Mike and Nico own it so I should be able to play it pretty much any time I want to play it.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Just the three times this month, and they were all with Mike and Damian on a Saturday when the store was invaded for the grand-daddy of all CCG's pre-release. Hopefully, we will be able to do this on occasion and get these characters leveled up. So far, level four is highest any of our characters have made, in part because I play in different parties and have tried not to have greatly differences in the levels of the characters playing.

The two base games have still been enough variety for playing it, but I'm starting to hear the call of the wave 1.5 shipping.


Snow Tails
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 8

About half way through the race I decided to commit suicide since not playing would be more enjoyable than playing more.

I realized I had been hesitant to play this of late. My rating did plummet three points from an 8 to a 5 because of my desire to avoid the game and I might end up getting rid of my copy since I know so many people who do own it.


Viticulture
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 7

It works very well with five players. I think I prefer the original Grande worker rule over the new rule. I read over the expansions and found the idea for the "legacy" expansions to be silly. I also don't see why you would need to play all of the level one or two expansions to play the level three ones. Heck, I found only half of the smaller expansions to be something I would be willing to try.

Here's hoping we play more games soon so I can integrate some of the expansions.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

We played this at the store. We were waiting for Shawn to arrive and Michael had his copy and it seemed like it would last the right amount of time. It ended up being a very close game with me almost winning on Nick's turn, but Nico pulled it out when he began his own turn.

Why have the dice gods forsaken me?!?!?
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Thu Apr 2, 2015 1:30 am
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Games Played in February 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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I managed to play Shadows of Brimstone twice, which is not acceptable!

In February, I played 20 games a total of 50 times and eight expansions a total of 15 times. Four of the games and two expansions were new to me, and I played five of the games and two of the expansions in January.

Here’s what I did play in February:

Carcassonne: The Castle
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this for the first time in a while. We both thought I was in the best position to win the game, but my luck failed near the end of the game and Mike came away with the win.


Deus
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

I didn't think I would like this, though that was more my reaction to the box art and the art on the game tiles pictured on the back of the box.

Nico told me not to hate the game until we had the chance to play it the next week since he bought it. He brought it to the store the next week and he, Nick, and I played it. Nico and I played it again the following week with Narani and she liked it as well.

I really liked it! It's a terrific design with rules and mechanisms to mitigate possible problems that could cause the game to bog down. Yes, there is still some luck of the draw in the game, but it is not a huge problem.

Mike also picked the game up and we played two-player. He wasn't as big a fan as I was, but it seemed to grow on him some after we played because he mentioned he played it with someone else and said we should play it again. I suspect this might be in the rotation a while.


Duel of Ages II
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Expansion Played: Master Set.

Nicki and Tim both really like this game so we split into teams with Michael and Nicki going against Tim and I with each side having eight people a side.

I liked this more than I remembered liking the original, but it's still not a favorite. I'd play it a few times a year without complaint and if it was quicker I would like it a lot more.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Unseen Forces for all the games and Gates of Arkham for one of them.

Dilettante Jenny Barnes, private eye Joe Diamond, handyman Wilson Richards, and Sister Mary, the nun took on Tsathoggua and the world ended because they were lacking.

Not being satisfied with the world ending, three of the four left behind the unlucky Diamond and added some musical accompaniment with Jim Culver as Hastur was the challenge. This time the heroes managed to defeat the evil before the world ended.

Then something new happened. Gates started opening. New investigators arrived on the scene, and rumors of previously-unknown old ones started up. Three of those newcomers investigated the machinations of Yibb-Tstill. Those three are/were Skids O'Toole (RIP), Akachi Onyele, and Tommy Muldoon (RIP). Picking up the torch for the fallen ones was William Yorick (RIP), Trish Scarborough (RIP), and Patrice Hathaway. The two survivors lasted long enough to see the world end again!

I like Gates of Arkham, though it does slow the game down a fair amount by adding randomness in the adventures by keeping them hidden until the players visit them. For those who feel the game is too easy before the expansion, they might be singing a different tune after playing this.


Harbour
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Mike backed this small worker placement game and we both liked it. My one concern with it as a two-player game is the number of buildings available is less than with more and it can happen that there are set-ups that can bog the flow of the game down.


Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike had to have cheated.

Why would I say that?

He had a good game and won.


King of New York
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

I wonder if I should order the Broken Token insert for King of Tokyo for this game, or will expansions for this make that a bad choice?


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion.

Just once with The Harbor. We're beginning to feel as if there are too many purple cards in the mix that tend to clog up the flow of the game.


Marvel Dice Masters
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 4

Nico and I played a few games one Saturday and Mike and I played a few more at his place on another day, mixing both sets released so far.

I'm really looking forward to the Dungeons & Dragons set which is due out soon, and even the Justice League set. As long as we're playing it, I can see myself buying more, though storage is becoming a problem.

Speaking of storage... If you're interested in buying sets of two commons and one uncommon from Avengers vs. X-men or sets of commons (maybe an uncommon set as well) from Uncanny X-men, drop me a private message and we'll see if we can work something out. Any sales would end up being through the BGG marketplace.


Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

When will the reprint for this be out in stores? Mike's copy needs to be replaced, ASAP!


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 6

Who said you couldn't play it just once when it is played?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 12
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea for five of the games and Tempest Rising for one of them.

Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I started adventure 1, The Wormwood Mutiny. As has been the trend with this set, we lost one of the four times we played the first evening we played. Night two had us finishing the first adventure and starting adventure 2, Raiders of the Fever Sea

Michael and I also played four scenarios in a two-player campaign, coincidentally picking up where the group at Mike's finished off and continuing through the first scenario of Tempest Rising.

I like that the level "0" missions are now supposed to be played as part of the full campaign, but I feel that having five of them with minimal character growth was a mistake. Three scenarios, like in Rise of the Runelords, would have worked better. We also got very little from the "Cat and Mouse" scenario which looked to be designed to get a lot of new cards into the decks of the characters. This was because we had already played six scenarios and had done a decent job of collecting things for the decks.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts.

Michael and I finished a quick game while waiting for others to show at the store.


Risiko Express
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2012
My Rating: 7

WTF? Age of War has a separate entry in the database even though the games is the same with a different skin? I wonder how long it will be before the two entries are merged (then unmerged, then re-merged)?


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 6

Nico and I taught the game to Greg and Alexander. They left after the first game. Nico and I played three more times before putting it away. We then played a few more times later in the month when there was just the two of us playing games.


San Juan
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2014
My Rating: 8

Michael and I played this to close a Saturday instead of the usual Race for the Galaxy. RftG really did improve on this while making it more complex. The only real fault I still see with this is the Guild Hall and Library can give an advantage and when two players are pretty evenly matched, they will often determine the winner. Still, I will keep it around for those not wanting the steeper learning curve or when I'm just looking for something lighter to play.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Arjun, Narani, and I played the "Cursed Idol" scenario. Our Marshal, Saloon Girl, and Law Man found the gate to Jargono fairly quickly and, thanks in large part to the Old Map, we were able to find the burial ground early enough so we weren't killed and completed the adventure. Giving the characters an Old Map item and removing the corridor tiles from the swamp mix was a genius design decision. It made finding the destination tile much more likely in the allotted time, but still meant it might take too long to get to if the players didn't keep up the pace.

The following week, we played the "Night of the Dead" with Michael joining us, playing his Rancher. Unlike the "Cursed Idol" scenario, this one felt like it could go on forever. That was because some moron didn't read the scenario carefully enough and didn't apply all the special rules. It never pays to be in a rush. Now I want to play it again with the right rules, which means we might have a character fatality or two.


Suburbia
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 9

Expansion Played: Suburbia, Inc.

We had not played this in a while, but my assembling the box organizer from The Broken Token, I had to bring the game along to try and get it played. I used to think I was good at the game, but really I am not.

The organizer is awesome! My only fear is the next expansion might have more borders than will fit in the borders area. Here's hoping what is released does fit.


Tiny Epic Defenders
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Tiny? Yes.

Epic? Not so much.

Will I try to look clever every time I play one of these games by repeating the same opening? Probably.

It's a decent cooperative board game. I like how the turns are taken based on a deck of cards for each round, but the characters felt kind of generic because of the limited actions available.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Hilary, Mike, and I played this as part of an evening of dice games.
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Tue Mar 3, 2015 6:03 am
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Games Played in January 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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January was an odd month. People were sick, on vacation, and generally unavailable so the number of different games played was down as Michael and I defaulted to playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game a couple of times, plus I met with the group at Mike's three times for the same game.

I still managed to play Shadows of Brimstone several times and would like to play more, though not everyone on Saturday likes it as much as I do.

I decided to stop the experiment I had been doing which was revisiting what games were new to me last year, so I am back to just covering what I played the past month.

In January, I played a mere 12 games a total of 42 times and four expansions a total of 10 times. Four of the 12 games and three of the four expansions were new to me, and I played five of the games and none of the expansions in December.

Here’s what I did play in January:

Among the Stars
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: The Ambassadors.

I set up the game using one of the suggested basic card set-ups from the Artipia site using the cards from the expansions. I also went through the special cards and created a set of colors which was balanced so one color didn't dominate. It was a fun game and I look forward to using The Ambassadors some more, but can see why some might not like using them.


Glen More
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2011
My Rating: 8

Nico recently discovered this, not having been a regular the times we played it back in late 2010 and early 2011. We had five, and I thought for sure I was doing poorly, but I managed to grab a VP generating building near the end of the second round and managed enough points to win.

I still like this game a lot, but I wonder if five might be too many for it? It felt like I didn't have much ability to plan on getting a tile I wanted after grabbing the one I would take on a particular turn.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Nico Kickstarted all six of the 54-card Rabbit games from Dice Hate Me Games. This is the one which he had played and liked, so he taught it to Paul and I. After the first game we played it again right away. I really liked it and looked to buy it right away, but it was not available yet.

A week later, Nico, Michael and I played it and Michael wanted to get a copy right away.

It is a quick, fun and a not-too complicated take on the cards being multiple resources like San Juan and Race for the Galaxy. I really am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of it, but it packs so much fun in a small deck.


Level 7 [Omega Protocol]
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Another cooperative game, but like Descent it has someone controlling the bad guys against the other players.

I liked the game and the mechanisms for the way the characters set how they are moving each turn which changes some of their stats. The adrenaline points is also a nice way of trying to balance the number actions the players get versus the number that the overlord player can use. But in the end it still suffers from the one against many, which I don't like, so I would much rather play Galaxy Defenders.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion.

The Harbor is out so now we can use the actual set and not the PnP version I've had for a while.


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Light, amusing, and quick. Maybe it is too quick because it felt like it was missing something? It felt like just as we got rolling, the game ended.

Also, we never saw any purple city cards in our game, which meant drawing a bunch of these was really disappointing. Yeah, you can use two cards as a wild, but that is still less useful than having two cards of a color that can be played.


Pandemic: The Cure
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

I was looking for something quick and this fit the bill. We played two games, winning one and losing one. The Scientist is the big game changer: if you want a more-winnable game she should be included as one of the player characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Spires of Xin-Shalast for five of the games.

Mike, Jerry, Damian and I finished off the first adventure path! We hated the last scenario and feel it could have been better designed because it can be unbeatable just because the cards shuffle the wrong way. Are there any issues like this with the scenarios in Skull and Shackles?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 14
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea for two of the games.

After finishing up Rise of the Runelords, Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I went to work tackling pirates, sharks, and other ne'er-do-wells of the Shackles islands. We decided we could choose any of the 12 characters from this set or any of those from the class decks. I chose the Alchemist, Jerry chose the Swashbuckler, Mike picked the Magus, and Damian grabbed the Warpriest. We managed to lose the second scenario the first time we played.

I also played four scenarios in one of Michael's campaigns with Kyle and Caitlyn, though she didn't play in all of them because their kids were being rambunctious.

Later in the month, the group at Mike's ended up finishing the Plunder and Peril adventure, though we had another loss in the mix. That just makes the game more interesting. As a group, we were generally underwhelmed by the five scenarios after coming down from the characters that finished the first set. I think it would have been better to keep the included Adventure 0 as three scenarios than have five.

Michael and I also played two more scenarios in the Raiders of the Fever Sea adventure in his two-player group. A third game that day had Jessica and Jonas joining up as we played another in the four-player game that we played with Kyle and Caitlyn.

My figures for this and the next adventure path are off being painted and I should have them in hand sometime soon.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

In some ways it is over-produced, but the most important component is not. For this price I would have expected the dice to be etched and not just have the faces painted onto the die sides.

The game is also slower to play than the card game without adding any real depth.

Before it was released, I considered this an auto-buy, but with the huge box, painted-on die faces, and slower play, I am not likely to pick this up. Nico and Mike own it, so I am sure I will play it on occasion.


Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Nico and I were the last two hanging out one Saturday afternoon and we played this before he had to leave. I was able to generate more workers early on and was also able to generate more ports than him, while avoiding rolling disasters. I scored 131 points with only four disasters, which felt like a huge score.

I don't believe any of us who Kickstarted it have read the rules for The Mediterranean Expansion. I keep thinking I will, but I don't.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Arjun, Narani, and I played "The Lost Journal" fixed-map scenario using the U.S. Marshal, the ever-popular Saloon Girl, and the Law Man. We ended up getting to the fifth possible room out of six before finding the Journal. We had the event which made the Hold Back the Darkness roll harder and it sped the end of the game, and we lost the game because the darkness escaped while facing the Goliath and his minions. The best part of the game? Telling Arjun he should roll to kill his wife and saying the opposite to Narani. I'm sick.

The following weekend the three of us were joined by Michael who was playing a new Preacher. We played the "For a Few Dark Stone More" scenario and ended up with a win, but the poor Saloon Girl got a mutation which injures people ending up next to her at the end of their turns. How messed up is that?

Later on in the month, Paul, Michael and I played "Seal the Void Gate," which was the last of the basic adventures I hadn't played. This is a tough adventure, with a slightly-accelerated clock because the characters need to find only two clues to get to the final battle. Paul played his Piano Player (Saloon Girl), Michael played his Rancher, and I got to play my Bandido again. Both Michael and I are about 1/2 an adventure from jumping up to level 4, which will be the first characters in any of the groups that I play that make it above level 3.

Finally, Michael and I visited the "Swamps of Death" with the Rancher and the Bandido. We succeeded.
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My most played games of 2014, or "what's shakin', sun god!"

Bobby Warren
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Last year I did three posts indicting the Good, Bad, and the Ugly games I played in 2013. This year I just didn't feel like it and I wasn't going to do any kind of recap. Then I got a bug up my butt and decided to look at the 10 most-games played this year, and then look at the 10 most-plyed of the previous year as well.

My most-played games of 2014

Eight of them were games I played for the first time in 2014 which I guess means the Cult of the New is strong in me.

Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
Times Played in 2014: 54

We managed to get through three of the six organized play weeks, but then the small group petered out. When the Uncanny X-Men organized play gets started I hope to get a small group that will be able to play through it.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played in 2014: 46

Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I played through most of the campaign and finished it after the first of this year. Michael, Nick, and I are into the fourth adventure but haven't played in a while. I just reorganized my box to include the class decks and reset it so we could start a new campaign at the store, but I have everything recorded so Michael, Nick and I can resume at any time.


Splendor
Times Played in 2014: 39

A terrific game! I know a lot of people think it is dry, but I really dig the puzzle aspect and engine-building competition between the players. After playing Camel Up, I am shocked that Splendor didn't win the SdJ over it, or that it was even nominated at all.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played in 2014: 37

Almost all of these were played with the Alien Artifacts expansion without the Orb part. We thought it was fiddly and slowed the game down, but playing with just the cards was a nice change from playing with the first series of expansions.


Machi Koro
Times Played in 2014: 31

Once we started with the Harbor expansion, we played with it almost exclusively. I want the retail version of the expansion, but it is on the standard Pandasaurus schedule -- really late.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played in 2014: 26

This is both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients mixed together. I would play this all day most Saturdays if everyone else was up for it. With all the extra stuff that should be arriving this year, I expect it to be fresh and blast to play the entire year.


Pandemic: The Cure
Times Played in 2014: 20

All twenty plays were in a three week period in November, and then I stopped bringing it along with me because I ended up with less room in the gaming bag because of larger games and my wanting to play older, deeper games. I can't imagine this being in the top 10 for 2015.


Run, Fight, or Die!
Times Played in 2014: 19

It was a big splash in September and then played occasionally since then. It's a fun dice game which has the feel of the zombie theme. There is a new Kickstarter for another expansion and I plan on backing it.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played in 2014: 16

Yeah, I am counting this both games separately. This one will likely see more plays this year as Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I are starting this set soon and will probably finish it before the end of the year, which would be at least 35 plays.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played in 2014: 16

If there is one game on the list that most people wouldn't expect to see, it would be this one. It's a quick dice game that captures the feel of Ra. Mike and I will play this on those days that we are looking for something that is not too taxing, but still fun.



My most-played games of 2013

Surprisingly, only one of these made the top played games this past year, and it was the game that most probably wouldn't have guessed would be on one of the lists, much less both of them. Some of it was these games grew old and part of it was the games that arrived in 2014 that jumped to the head of the line were so awesome.

Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played in 2013: 31
Times played in 2014: 8

Mike and I still play this. Playing it so many times in 2013 was just a aberration and I suspect it will see about 10 plays a year for the foreseeable future.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played in 2013: 23
Times played in 2014: 9

The Saturday guys suffered from bean fatigue and so did Mike, so we didn't play it with Hilary as much when I was over at their place to play games.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game
Times Played in 2013: 20
Times played in 2014: 8

If the Heroes Unite was more fun I think we would have played this more. Both Mike and bought the Crisis Expansion, but neither of us has actually read the rules. For my part, it seems like an awful lot of work to set it up as a cooperative game and it looks to make it more complicated, but that is not what I want when I play this. I am looking forward to some of the mini-expansions like the Arrow and JSA crossover packs, which will add a few cards to mix and some new characters. I didn't pick up Forever Evil because it was the attacks which I felt made the Lord of the Rings versions of the game system less fun to play.


King of Tokyo
Times Played in 2013: 19
Times played in 2014: 6

Like with the bean fatigue in Würfel Bohnanza, I think there was a little fatigue for this game. Also, Machi Koro, Run, Fight, or Die! and other games took its place at times. I expect it to be around the 10 plays a year range as well from now on.


Dreadball
Times Played in 2013: 17
Times played in 2014: 0

Mantic's handling of their Kickstarters soured me on their games and I was the driving force behind keeping a league going. Even then, it was hard keeping the group on task and I gave up on trying to get their games played.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played in 2013: 15
Times Played in 2014: 16

The one game on both lists. It just keeps plugging along.


Augustus
Times Played in 2013: 15
Times played in 2014: 6

The box size kills this one. I would bring it every week, and brought it a lot but then didn't bring it out because it was in a white card box and would sometimes forget it was in the bag.


Hanabi
Times Played in 2013: 14
Times played in 2014: 1

It flamed out pretty quickly. Sure it is fun, but there are other games that get the attention this might.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played in 2013: 14
Times played in 2014: 10

Not much of a change from year to year, but just enough to keep it out of the top ten plays. Heck, even the 14 plays in 2013 wouldn't have been enough to crack the list in 2014.


Elder Sign
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 2

Another game that gets most of the plays with Mike and Hilary. They also play it with others and get their fix that way. I should try and get it played on Saturdays.


Guildhall
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 1

This one dropped because it wasn't as popular with some of the regulars as it was with me and Eric, who life has prevented from joining us on Saturdays for the past year and probably for the foreseeable future.


Trains
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 7

I would have thought this would have been played more, but it still wasn't completely forgotten. It spiked a little at the end of the year with Rising Sun releasing and now that there are several two-player maps, I suspect Mike and I might play it more when I am over at his place. I also finally got around to combining the cards from both sets into one box and will probably pack it along several times this year to get played on a Saturday.
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Games Played in December 2014

Bobby Warren
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December was all about campaign games and older games, with me not playing anything new to me until the last gaming day of the month. Shadows of Brimstone is still quite seeing a lot of table time and I don’t think I’ll be getting bored with it, and the Pathfinder card game at Mike’s saw us fly through two of the adventure packs.

I played 24 games a total of 55 times and four expansions a total of 13 times. One of the games and one of the expansions were new to me, and I played twelve of the games and one of the expansions in November.

Here’s what I played in December:

Among the Stars
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 8

We still haven't played with any of the expansions. I am working on a list of the cards with their colors for each set. Randomizing the basic cards shouldn't be a problem, but deciding which special cards to include might be a bit of a challenge.

What this game needs is a randomizer program!


Ancient Terrible Things
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 7

One night I wanted to play this and asked Nico if he would bring it on Saturday. He said he hadn't bought it yet, so I decided to get it on Amazon with Prime shipping. Somehow, I managed to buy two copies and then Nico said get would buy the second one from me, saving me from having to ship it back.

We ended up playing it that Saturday with Greg, who also enjoyed this game. I think there are just enough decisions for a dice game which has some real tactical decisions. Plus it is a non-cooperative Cthulhu mythos game.


Concordia
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Charles taught this to Mike and I and I thought it was okay.

I don't like the way the scoring is based on the cards collected by the players during the game. Maybe it would be more palatable if the game was lighter and didn't take as long as it does?

On the other hand, it did flow pretty well and there was a lot of anxiety because there weren't enough actions to do what I wanted every turn, and that is a plus.

For me this is a mediocre game. Something I will play if Charles brings it and asks to play it, but not something I will clamor for.


D-Day Dice
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 8

We played the Gold Beach scenario. With four players, as with most every scenario for this game, was an easy win.


Einfach Genial
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 9

Mike wanted to play this and I am always willing. One of the real tricks for this game is to know when to block off a section to prevent others from scoring it. Play this right, and you've got the others scrambling to score a small number of points in a color that you have a huge lead in.


Five Tribes
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 7

Still a good game, but beware of setting someone up to use slaves to collect a huge income from the blue meeples.


Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Played at Mike's. Mike once again had really bad luck and I managed to have some mediocre luck, though came back at the end to pull in second.

Getting the Chessex dice for this has brought it back into the field of games we play at Mike's, so we'll probably get a few more plays under our belts in the next couple of months before it fades to no getting played that often status.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 7

Mike.

Me.

Puzzle board.

Dice.


King of New York
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

We played three times in a row with my set at the store with Michael and Nico. I am not good at this game even though I won the fourth time we played it later in the month.

I was surprised to find that I still had the 55 Central Park West from the King of Tokyo: Halloween expansion. At the time, I thought it was pre-release of one of the cards from the game and I was going to toss it.


Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

We really need the reprint out soon because some of Mike's cards are in bad shape. It will also be nice to have cards from a regular card stock to shuffle instead of these extra-thick, finger-breakers!


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played: 9
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Fortress of the Stone Giants for four of the games and Sins of the Saviors for five of them.

We made great progress in the campaign at Mike's, finishing the last four scenarios of the Fortress of the Stone Giants and all five in the Sins of the Saviors adventure. After we finish this off, we'll be tackling the second set. Damian even suggested playing through this set again with different characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Both Michael and I have come up groups to play with various numbers of characters and we have different people playing the different characters when the game is played.

We played the fifth scenario of the Plunder & Peril adventure, "The Black Flag," as part of Michael's three-player campaign. We later played the first two scenarios of the The Wormwood Mutiny.

Another time we started a four-player campaign with the first two scenarios of Plunder & Peril.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike.

Me.

Folding board (unlike KDWS).

Dice.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts.

Michael, Nico, and I played a few games to close out one Saturday.


Rat Hot
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2013
My Rating: 7

It's still a clever and quick two-player tile-placement game. I really like the three-dimensional stacking and that the groups score both when made and if they survive through the end of the game.


Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 7

Domination, baby. Domination! Yeah, it's all about me.


Run, Fight, or Die!
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

This time was with just the base game without the expansion. This is one I would play more if I had more space in my gaming bag.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

This is getting played this with several groups between playing at Mike's and the Game Depot. The Lawman and the Indian Scout are the least-played of the characters while the Rancher and Gunslinger are the most-played.

I've also primed my player miniatures. Maybe I will paint them in January? Yeah, probably not...

Since I started playing the game, here are the scenarios I've played:

Basic Scenarios
14x For a Few Dark Stone More
3x Exploration
3x Search Party
2x Escape
1x Blow the Mine

City of the Ancients
1x Terror in the Night
1x City of the Ancients

Swamps of Death
1x Temple of Dread

I've not played and of the fixed-map scenarios, a most of the other box-specific scenarios, and I still need to play the basic "Seal the Void Gate" scenario.


Splendor
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

It's seeing a slight down turn in the number of plays. In part because I am not always bringing it along because of other things that I want to play.


Subdivision
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike and I are still playing this, and he brought it along one Saturday and Jessica joined us for a game. It doesn't seem to change too much when playing with three over two, though it becomes a little harder to predict which tiles you will see come back to you.


Through the Desert
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2012
My Rating: 9

It was great playing this, as always.

Charles made some initial placement errors -- three or four of his colors were very close to each other -- in large part because he hadn't played it in such a long time. Jessica was new to the game and she did a pretty good job of grasping the basic strategies, but the winner was the person I thought it might be. That is one player that gets two longest chain bonuses, unless someone else pulls off a tremendous coup for a large enclosed area.

This will stay in my bag for a while in order to try and get it played some more.


Trains
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2013
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Rising Sun.

This will be the last time I record Rising Sun plays. From now on all my plays of Trains will include the cards from both sets.

I like the new game cards as well as the route bonuses that were added for all the maps, including promos to date.


Vegas
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2013
My Rating: 7

Still a light, fun game as long as you use the extra rule with the white dice.


December 2013 Revisited

My most played games in December last year were 7 Wonders, Hanabi, and Keltis: Das Würfelspiel, which were both played three times each.

I played six times the new to me games a year ago compared to this December. Impressive? Maybe if I had played more than one new game this month, it would have been. Here are the new to me games from last year with some current comments.

BattleLore (Second Edition)
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 0
My Rating Then/Now: 8/7
Owned: No

We haven't played it, but I would. When I've thought about it, the set-up time has stopped me from suggesting it.


Blueprints
Times Played Then: 2
Times Played Since Then:0
My Rating Then/Now: 3/3
Owned: No

It sucks and that is all I have to say about it.


Canalis
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 0
My Rating Then/Now: 7/7
Owned: No

Mike's brought up playing this once or twice but we never have. I thought about picking it up from time to time but I have not been inspired enough to pull the trigger on getting it.


Coup
Times Played Then: 2
Times Played Since Then: 2
My Rating Then/Now: 5/5
Owned: No

Last year I said, "I thought it was an okay game, but it is not my kind of activity," and I still feel that way. Nick is the one who owns this, though Mike and Alex might own it as well, and he hasn’t suggested it in a while. Like all the similar games, they seem to have a short play life with the people who like them.


Rampage
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 0
My Rating Then/Now: 6/4
Owned: No

The more I thought about it, the less I liked the way it played.


Snowdonia
Times Played Then: 2
Times Played Since Then: 1
My Rating Then/Now: 8/8
Owned: Yes

Wow, only one playing since then. I sure felt like I played it another couple of times. I guess I need to work on getting it played more?
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Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:35 pm
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