Episode 22: I know what you’re thinking…

This week we take time to explore the realm of the mind and it’s growing power over the landscape of WarHammer 40k. That’s right! Psychic Powers… er, kinda. Lange and Nathan discuss the viability of an expanded phase of the game due to the swelling imbalance in type and form of psychic powers with each new codex… if your army is lucky enough! The stupidity check examines Teclis and his affect on HE player confidence. We also open up the mailbag and read some questions from listeners.

[WARNING! Jaded Gamercast is meant for an adult audience. We ask that all listeners be at least 18 years of age or have their parents permission before listening.]

Direct Download the podcast here!

Need advice on Army Building? Painting? Crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you? Dating? ….EMAIL US!?

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Episode 21: Firestorm on the Horizon

Lange and Nathan finally get the chance to play a game of Firestorm Armada! Rulebooks have arrived and our fleets are ready… but our grasp of the rules is very newbish. We talk about Specialist Games from GW in Higher Learning for this week and point out where those games failed us. We take a break mid-cast to have our game and return to talk about the experience.

[WARNING! Jaded Gamercast is meant for an adult audience. We ask that all listeners be at least 18 years of age or have their parents permission before listening.]

Direct Download the podcast here!

Need advice on Army Building? Painting? Crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you? Dating? ….EMAIL US!?

Delusions of OP

Let me start by saying that I listen to PodHammer for the same reasons that John Stewart watches Glen Beck. That may sound harsh, and I am in no way saying that they are pig-faced media whores like Mr Beck, however I have to admit that I don’t tend to agree with the things they say. In truth I have them to thank for the ‘lil unprofessional podcast we do here because for the longest time I had not been able to finish an episode of PodHammer. It made me wonder if I could do any better… and here we are. Anyways, this is not what this post is about. This post was simply brought about because of ideas and comments made on said podcasts that, as I stated before, I tend to disagree with.

Fuck 'em

He can't help that he loves 'Merica...

Specifically the idea of armies in WarHammer being considered ‘Over Powered’ or ‘Nerfed’ is something that I hate to hear being spewed like troll vomit during a conversation about the game. For those of you who are unaware of these terms they started in the MMORPG community, most typically with WOW gamers. They found that if they went on the MMO forums and screamed about specific classes being too weak or too strong that they would get a response from the GameDevs in the form of updates/patches that would ‘balance’ the classes. This always resulted in the players who were bitching about being too weak having players bitch that those classes are now OP and that their character class was Nerfed. So what do the GameDevs do? Read the forums and do it all again. Nerf the OP classes or make the nerfed classes OP. It’s a sick circle of life for MMO gaming to know that no matter what class you choose to play in any game, at some point in your virtual life you will find yourself standing in front of a Dragon with a Squishy foam sword and a fully loaded pair of pants.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a Gamer and a Jaded one at that. I have screamed “OP!” at my computer screen when I am killed during a game of League of Legends many a night and gone on with friends about WHY IT’S SO OP!! I do that sometimes. So isn’t it understandable for me to assume that the same is true for a game like WarHammer? The answer is a resounding NO. To declare that any army in this game is anything more than outdated or current is somewhat ridiculous. Easier to play? Sure. More options? Sure. Overpowered? Never.  When 8th edition came out hordes of gamers had almost instantly begun to ask around the forums what the new ‘Tiers’ where while one post down players were complaining about how GW had screwed them and how their armies were now nerfed until a new book could glide out from the sky and save them from the ungodly terror of the top tiers.

Pictured: OP TERROR!

I’ve said before that I like the idea of being a better General than I am a List Builder. This is not to say that I feel one aspect is more important than the other, but instead a reflection on what I feel makes a successful player. I have seen Nathan table armies in 3 turns with his Wood Elves, a supposedly Nerfed book, against veteran players playing strong OP armies. Yes, I am refering to ME… But not just me, other players as well fit this mold. I played Ogres back before 8th edition and won more games than I lost. I did well in tournaments and I had fun. Was my list the horde of naked ogre spam? Was is the MSU 3 ogre unit spam? Was it the gnoblar tarpit?  Not at all, it was a mix of items from the Army box and a selection of units that I felt would be fun and effective additions to my list. This was all back when Ogres were considerd to be bottom of the pile.

My point is this: To say that this game is governed by anything other than a combination of skill and luck is just an excuse. To claim that an army is an instant WIN in the hands of a skilled player is like saying that the same skilled player would be lost if given an instant LOSS army. Tomb Kings may seem broken just like the Necrons seem broken, but we know they are just dated and that they are on the books for a re-release, but there are players out there who are dedicated to their armies and are winning games. Just like there are players out there who loose games with their supposed OP armies that ‘break the game’… So just drop the excuses and drop the pandering. Play the game and learn how to deal with every scenario. Try for one moment in your sad gaming career to be a General instead of a Mathlete.

Fortitude

Of all the personal attributes I claim to have, fortitude is the one I am most thankful for. Why? Because fortitude is probably the single most important attribute you can have when approaching this hobby of ours.

Something like this.

Fortitude in Warhammer comes in three distinct flavours:

  1. Painting
  2. Sportsmanship
  3. Generalship

1. Painting

This is the most obvious one. A lot of people who take part in the hobby lack the fortitude to fully paint an army. Gods know I have started WAY more armies than I have finished. In my time in the hobby though, I have learned a few tricks on making sure my fortitude stands the test and sees me through to the end.

First, break up the task. I NEVER batch paint. Why? Because the tedium of the task kills me. After the 3rd straight hour of applying the same colour or technique to a marginally different model, I check out and go do something else. Then when trying to sit back down and start again at a later time, I remember those feelings and never bother.

For the last couple of years I have only painted individual models from start to finish. This has led to a higher level of detail on all my models (easier to spend 20 minutes each model doing super fine details and finishing touches than it is to spend 4 hours straight doing the same to a squad) and I have painted more models this past year then any other year I’ve been in the hobby. I think my count is in the 120ish range for models painted in 2010. An average of 1 every 3 days.

If you’re not wired for batch painting like Lange, give it a try. It just might help you finish your army.

Secondly, make yourself a carrot. Something to motivate you to finish the army. In most cases this ends up being an event you want to attend. Regardless of the source of motivation, keep looking to it when you start getting tired of your current painting endeavours. I personally like to think about my next army and get excited about those models. I know I won’t purchase the army until I’m done (took me 8 years to get THAT fortitude) but sometimes being excited for that other army will motivate me to paint with a renewed fury.

2. Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship does NOT only apply to tournaments. If you’re playing at your FLGS or a friend’s basement, don’t be a dick. Be magnanimous in victory and congratulatory in defeat. That last one has been the hardest for me to learn and I am still guilty of inadvertent pouting when my ass really gets handed to me.

This is where fortitude really has to come in to play. A friend of mine (who has won 2 Best Sport awards) once said that he has fun no matter what’s happening. How? By imagining that whatever is happening is part of a really awesome movie. This way, whether his Berzerkers are winning or losing, there is nothing to ever be upset about because the setting of the game is that fucking cool. Since hearing that, it’s what I try to do. So when I get fucked by a poorly written scenario and rolling a “6” for a Jaws of the World Wolf test (thanks a lot Paul) rather than being a miserable fuck like I was in that game (sorry about that Paul), I now try to imagine the ground opening up and devouring a Hive Tyrant. Epic, n’est ce pas?

3. Generalship

This is the big one. In over a decade in the hobby, I have probably played about 1K games of Warhammer spanning 6 editions (3 each for Fantasy and 40K). 40K definitely makes up about 90% of those games but the point applies to both. Whether you are winning or losing, never stop putting on the pressure.

I have lost games that were essentially a done deal (ask Lange about his Death Guard vs my Dark Eldar) because I look at the table, consider it won and stop trying. I lacked the fortitude to finish the job. On the other end of the spectrum, I have won games where I am being absolutely brutalized by my opponent but they pulled the above mistake and I doggedly kept pushing for the win. This is the most satisfying win as the look of shock on your opponent’s face is priceless (Game 2 Ard Boyz semi-finals, I had 11 models out of my 130 model Tyranid army left alive. I had killed a Dreadnought, 5 scouts and 10 marines. I won on objectives 3-2).

Have the fortitude to stick to your game plan and you will win WAY more than you lose (5-0-1 at Ard Boyz 2010. Looking to go 9-0 in 2011). Sure the dice can screw you but remember, it’s only a game.

Monopoly Money is more widely accepted than Discover Card!

Blood for the Blood God!

Just a reminder that the Blood for the Blood God! promotion is underway. The model has been ordered and to date we have raised:

2 pints of Blood and $50 for the Red Cross.

Keep it coming!

Episode 20: Orcs & Orangutans

With the release of the new Orc & Goblin army book for WH Fantasy Lange & Nathan sit down and break it down. Tactics, changes, highlights, and person views are all explored as we talk about everyone from the look of the new hard covers to the way that this new army book fits in with 8th edition. Did the first army book since 8th editions release create a power creep? Listen and find out!

[WARNING! Jaded Gamercast is meant for an adult audience. We ask that all listeners be at least 18 years of age or have their parents permission before listening.]

Direct Download the podcast here!

Need advice on Army Building? Painting? Crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you? Dating? ….EMAIL US!?

Blood for the Blood God!

Alright, as mentioned here I am working on a Daemons of Chaos army. For the army I need a Herald of Khorne to go with my Bloodletters. As the only Herald model GW makes is Skulltaker (going to be riding a Juggernaught in 3K), I needed an alternative model to represent a generic Herald with Armour of Khorne. I thought I would be able to make one easily enough from bitz in the Bloodletters box but there simply aren’t any. Instead I intend to cop out and buy this.

Forge World. Helping inept modelers for years!

So why am I posting a whole blog article on me shelling out money for Forge World? Because I have absolutely no use for the (cool) Demon Prince. Forge World doesn’t sell them separately. So what’s a jaded gamer to do with a whole Demon Prince he doesn’t need? Give it away, that’s what.

I am going to give away the Forge World Demon Prince of Khorne. To do so, I am going to run a contest. Here’s the skinny:

I am going to place the order with Forge World on March 14 at 9PM MST. I am going to opt for standard shipping. The contest is open until it arrives in the mail (4 – 6 weeks). Once I have it in my hands, I am going to do a random draw of all the entries received between now and then.

How do you enter the contest? Two ways.

  1. In honour of the Blood God, donate Blood to your local Blood Bank. Send me an email with proof (date, location and time it took to donate the full amount).
  2. In case people have already donated Blood recently, or don’t qualify for whatever reason (damn my love of tattoos), make a donation of at least $25 to the Red Cross to assist in relief for the Earthquake in Japan. Prove it by forwarding me your receipt.

You can enter as many times as you want and each entry improves your chances to win. All entries should be sent to jadednathancast@gmail.com.

Blood for the Blood God!

*EDIT*

As per Jaded Gamer Cast Episode 20, Lange will be throwing in $60 in GW gift certificates or the box of GW product of your choice up to a maximum of $60 (for those of you without a Games Workshop handy).

Composition as a Tournament Mechanic

Wow. What a shit storm the last post created. I had no intention of posting another blog this week but in light of the comments from that last post, I felt the need to clear the air a bit for the weekend and post up another one. I want to straight up say, if ANYONE tries to derail this post into a composition validity argument, I will delete your comments. Let’s not keep beating that dead horse.

The Composition Argument!

The Massacre on Istvaan V was a huge success as far as I’m concerned. This was a little bit surprising to me though, as my colleagues Teri, Kyle and I set out to run an event that was different than anything run before. We ran a narrative slanted campaign tournament with Factions (Horus vs The Emperor). The faction system wasn’t new as we tried it out at June’s 14th Black Crusade and people loved it.

Now due to the very nature of this event, we tried to encourage people to take lists that would fall more in line with this campaign feel and not super optimized lists. Not to mention the fact that we banned any army that didn’t consist of Space Marines (Although we made exceptions and let the stupid furries in). We then experimented with a unique tournament mechanic that we held close to our chests until the morning of: Players can choose their opponents for every round.

For round 1, players selected their first pairings after pledging allegiance to either Horus or the Emperor. A player had choice of selecting his opponent or the table he wished to play on. If you were challenged, you were able to select the table you would play on.

I really, really can't explain this photo. At all.

Now this idea was a carefully constructed social experiment. The big fish know who the other big fish are and we hoped they would stick to their own side of the pond (we were mostly right). With that being said, we still didn’t want to reward the people who were on top by ALWAYS giving them their pick of opponent or table. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen? Pairings are done in reverse order of generalship. First pick belongs to the person with the worst win/loss record and the best record chooses last. Now obviously a lot of people are going to have the same win/loss record. Especially after game 1. So what can you do to still make it fair? Composition.

Seriously Internet, WTF?

Composition was the tie breaker amongst win/loss ratios. This way, a player who is 2-0 with a relatively soft list will get to choose before a player who is 2-0 with a mother fucker list. Other than that, composition was weighted to affect your earned battle points by 10% or less. Nominal. It actually worked out that if you took the hardest list you could and earned max BPs every game, you would lose less points than your painting score provided your army was painted to an above average quality. Finally, we projected the names of all the player’s in their selection order. This allowed someone who didn’t know anyone (because it was his first tournament) to still choose a gamer who is of equal merit.

I personally love this composition system because it addresses everyone’s concerns nicely. Everyone has a fun time and we had 0 complaints with it.

Let me know what you think in the comments but be warned, I will not let this get derailed.

In Defense of Composition

A lot of bad things have been said about my friend composition of late and I’m not about to lay down and watch him take it. After all, if people know anything about me it’s my devilish good looks and sophistication. If they know anything else, it’s that I will happily stand behind internet anonymity and defend an intangible concept!

Here's to you Intangible Concept!

I’m not going to go in to the history of army composition or even the ways it can be horribly bungled and leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. We all know and have experienced bad composition before. I instead want to talk about its place in tournaments.

If you are a gamer thinking about attending an event (notice the lack of the word tournament?) you need to look at what the event is hoping to accomplish. If the purpose of the event is to have fun, show off your army and not really care about winning or losing, then go to that event with an appropriate army. Your mech-vet spam list won’t be appreciated and is certainly not wanted. If you would rather go to a tournament that only rewards generalship and doesn’t care about anything else, bring your mech-vet spam list to that event and go to town.

Same goes for tournament organizers(TOs), understand what type of event you want to host before you start advertising. This will inevitably help in ensuring the wrong kinds of armies aren’t crashing the door.

The biggest problem with army composition as it has been executed in the last decade is that TOs simply used army composition regardless of the style of event. Pair this with a failed understanding on how to manage such an intangible concept and lazy ways (checklists) to try and police it and what do you get? The angst of gamers magnified by the power of the internet.

Does this mean every event should have composition? No. Absolutely not. This comes down to the TOs understanding the kind of events they are running. The Bay Area Open wants to see who the best general is and is running their event appropriate to that goal. They don’t have composition. They shouldn’t have composition. The Massacre on Istvaan V wanted to tell a story and even limited the armies player’s were allowed to take. Should they then use army composition to encourage player’s to bring armies true to the fluff and in the spirit of the narrative event they want to run? Yes!

I think the biggest problem is that gamer’s who want to be ass hats and bring their douche lists want to show up to events where they aren’t welcome or wanted. Because their style of play and army is anathema to the desires of the TOs, they get hit with bad comp and whine online. My suggestion is, don’t show up. If you hate an aspect of an event that much, don’t validate the TOs by paying money, YOUR money, to attend their event and play in their playground. If you stay home, trust me when I say that you’ll be happier and so will they.

I end this post with a random non-sensical demotivational poster.

You're Welcome.

Because Nobody Asked For It…

…I started a Blog.

Expect Lange and I to post random things here as the mood strikes us. My primary focus for the blog is going to be on painting. Tips, tricks, army progress. You name it.

To kick it off, I want my inaugural post to let everyone know what they can expect for the next few months in regards to what I am painting and thus the techniques I am going to share.
New Hotness
Demons. Specifically the 2000 point Demon army I am preparing for the Las Vegas Throne of Skulls GT in June.

I know I ragged on the Throne of Skulls format (and I do still hate it) but the opportunity to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the North American tournament scene and shamelessly self-promote jadedgamercast was too much to pass up. Besides, Vegas baby!

The tournament is 101 days away and I have all this to build and paint.

Not Pictured: Bloodthirster, Seekers, Time

That right there is the majority of the 72 model army I am fielding at 2000 points. As of this morning, I have 11 painted. That leaves me with 61 models. Not quite 1 every day but still a whole lot.

I’m not going to post my list right now as I really want to focus on the painting instead.

As mentioned in the higher learning for Demons (both of them) the models are really gorgeous and let you go to town as a painter. Consequently, I worked hard to build a list that had at least some representation from every God of Chaos. Some are more heavily favoured than others (here’s to you Nurgle and Khorne!) but I thought the visual look of the army would suffer without it.

As the timeline is quite aggressive, I have dubbed March to be Nurgle month. If I am to succeed in my goal, I need to have all of my Nurgle models painted before the month is out. So far, it seems doable. We’ll see how it pans out.

With that, I leave this inaugural post with a picture of a complete (except his base) Plaguebearer. Expect tips and step by steps to be forthcoming on the different effects I did on him.

The Face Only a Mother Could Love

I apologize for the picture quality; they were taken with my phone. Once I remember to charge the battery on the good camera, pictures will definitely improve.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about next. Step by step painting guides, the list and my reasoning or even my list building process. Leave it in the comments.

Cheers!

Episode 19: A man on the Inside

No. That’s not a title for a gay porn. Lange and Nathan talk about their time working with Games Workshop and answer some emails regarding their experience. The Necrons get some love in this weeks Higher Learning and once again Tournament Composition scores become a topic that is discussed. READ TERI-BLOG!!!

[WARNING! Jaded Gamercast is meant for an adult audience. We ask that all listeners be at least 18 years of age or have their parents permission before listening.]

Direct Download the podcast here!

Need advice on Army Building? Painting? Crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you? Dating? ….EMAIL US!?