I’m sure a lot of people are tired of the incessant Onslaught coverage but deal with it. Countrystan doesn’t get a lot of tournaments so we over analyze the few we get. If you are already tired of it, stop reading. I wanted to take the time and talk about my Demon list, the games I played and things I am taking away to improve my Demons in the future. Continue reading
Onslaught is behind us, and once again ahead, and has given me the opportunity to play my Ogre Kingdoms army 5-6 games into the new Army Book. As some of you may have heard… I did not do as well as my co-host. In fact… I did not do as well as the other 4 people who I went to the tournament with. So yea, it makes me think how much of this came down to either luck or the Orges being shit. In truth, it’s neither. If I had to pick one thing that was the primary cause of my poor performance it would have to be my list.
I began noticing that I was saying the same thing in both episodes for the new Sisters of Battle ‘codex’ and the new Ogre Kingdoms armybook with regards to items or units that had been left out of said army lists for seemingly inane reasons. If you don’t listen to the show, or don’t remember, it was the fact that the Sisters of Battle were lacking an Arbites unit option in their core and how the Ogre Kingdoms had forgotten that they once lived near Cathay and lost the Samurai long sword option. Now, I understand that to most people these are fairly small details… but for me they are lost opportunities for invigorating long time gamers. Why?
Speaking as someone with 5 half painted/assembled armies sitting in his baseme… er… Studio, I can say with confidence that it’s widely understood and accepted that this addiction we share costs a lot of money. In terms of time out of your life it lands somewhere between porn addiction and being a professional blogger. In terms of money out of your pocket it lands somewhere between mild drug addiction and alcoholism. So as a porn addicted alcoholic who plays miniature games I am constantly struggling on where to spend my time and money, always wishing for someone to create a business model that makes my life just a little bit easier….
It’s easy for a tabletop war game to make a good first impression these days.
Advancements in sculpting and molding technology give even the smallest of companies the ability to create high detail miniatures for their tabletop games. The modern age of technology allows for hardcore numbers crunching to create a balanced gaming system with as little as an Excel spreadsheet. The internet allows for marketing and word of mouth traction on a global scale. It allows even the smallest of tabletop communities to thrive and grow and organize. So from the viewpoint of someone who was not in on the ground floor of the game launch, it can all look very spectacular on first glance.
It’s after a game or two that you really begin to see the flaws. Much like waking up next to a wookie the morning after a night of heavy drinking and debauchery, that ‘New-Game’ thrill just isn’t there anymore. The point is that as easy as it is to make a good first impression, it’s ten times harder to make a good second impression for many of the same reasons I stated above.
So what am I trying to qualify here by saying all this?
I wanted to post a quick reminder about the Blood for the Blood God Contest. I received the model last week but between being ill, prepping for the Apoc weekend and getting more sick, I haven’t had a chance to post until now.
Despite what the original contest stated, I am not ending the contest right away. Why? Because as a tournament organizer, I KNOW gamers.
As a result, I am going to leave this up for one more week. April 15 is the deadline for entries into the contest.
The rules are really simple. Donate blood or make a donation to disaster relief in Japan. If you donate money, each $25 will give you an entry into the draw. $100 = 4 entries.
Also, I wanted to list the prizes again as there have been some additions:
2. $60 in GW gift certificates or the box set of your dreams!
3. A shiny hard cover copy of the Orcs & Goblins Army Book (I got 2 somehow).
So go out and donate blood (or money)! Remember, I am not advocating bribing the homeless to donate blood for additional entries but…you know what? I TOTALLY am.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fortitude in Warhammer comes in three distinct flavours:
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.
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?
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.
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!