Winter is Coming… And a change to how we game

Winter is coming… And it’s bringing a change to competitive  gaming.

From my point of view, things have recently really started due to the recent lawsuit by Judges of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ against Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), and Privateer Press’s (PP) recent announcement regarding their Press Ganger program.

A breakdown of the Wizards of the Coast ‘Magic: The Gathering’ case is Here.

Basically, Judges of their (WOTC) tournaments, feel they are treated as employees, and should be due recompense, due to WOTC controlling the Judge program, and are in overall control of the tournaments and Judges duties during those tournaments. WOTC, of course, feel differently.

And given Privateer press’s recent announcement regarding their winding down of their Press Ganger program, which can be found Here.

So the way I see things is on one hand we have a company who expect a group of loyal fans and supporters to act as employees and to run big tournaments, without them benefitting from the rights and entitlements of employees.*

And on the other hand, (it looks like at least to me), that we have a company, that’s (A) trying to avoid a similar situation with their Press Gangers, and (B)  partially using it as part of a cost cutting program. As they’re also planning on no longer releasing cards with their models, instead relying on digital downloads and a print on demand program.

So given what’s happening with these two game systems/ companies, what’s in store from other companies. 

I’m looking at Paizo’s Pathfinder Society and WOTC Dungeons & Dragons organised play, to see how things play out. Both rely on fans and volunteers to run and promote their systems. 

Are we entering a period of gaming where more and more game companies will be leaving it up to the game stores to promote and run their systems. Instead of their previous fan base/ volunteers. I’m aware some systems already have an organised play system in place with game stores, such as X-wing by Fantasy Flight Games and Friday Night Magic  by WOTC, as in my local meta. 

But what about others such as Privateer Press, who relied on their Press Gangers for promoting and organising tournaments (big and small), and who’ll now be leaving things up to the brick and mortar stores. 
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop further.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

* I’m aware previously WOTC have rewarded judges and volunteers, with limited edition cards, playmats, and other such merchandise, for their contributions and effort during and after tournaments.

Why we do, what we do…

This one has been sitting in my draft folder for months. Part of the reason is I didnt think i could do it justice or put it properly into words. I still don’t but i’m sick of looking at it in my draft folder. It’s going to be a long one, so here we go…

This time round its going to be part tutorial, part testimony and part question about why we do, what we do.

A bit of back story to set the post. Christmas just gone 2 things happened that was the basis for this post.

The first was my meta ran a Secret Santa where you got a name of a player from the meta and then spent up to €15 on a model that you would assemble and paint for that player. The second thing was I had a conversation with my older brother about what i do (about my tabletop games) and about how i’ld assemble and paint models. It got me thinking about why we (as tabletop wargamers) do, what we do.

In the Secret Santa i got the name of a Cygnar player. As he was only starting to build his army i chose to get him a Junior Warcaster (or a Junior as they’re normally known as). As he had the ‘normal’ one I got him the new character ‘Junior’ that was created for Privateer Press’s Kickstarter video game.

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Lt. Allison Jakes is the name of the character. There was actually 2 versions of the model. The first was a Kickstarter backer esclusive and then a general release version. Personally I’m more of a fan for the general release version.

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Once i got the model, I assembled the tools of the trade. I have my files, my superglue, a modelling tool, my green stuff and the plastic inside roll of a till roll (i use this for ‘rolling’ out green stuff).

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The first step is to take the model out and double check all its parts are included in the blister. Next up i take up my files to remove any mold and flash lines from the model.

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Next up i’ll use the superglue to assemble and attach the model to its base. I then prepare the green stuff.

Green stuff is an epoxy resin used in modeling, it comes in 2 parts. A yellow part + blue part. You mix the 2 parts together using your fingers with some luke warm water and it turns green (hence the name). I’ll then use it to fill in any cracks or gaps in the model before i move on to using greenstuff on the base.

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For the base i simply covered it in ‘green stuff’ and then using my modelling tool i cut channels into it to simulate street pavement.

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Next up comes the painting of the model. I’m not going to go into the detail of what colours I used and what techniques but rather a general overview of what was done. You can find hundreds of video’s on YouTube for miniature painting. The model was painted to fit in with the recipients army.

First up the model is ‘base coated’ with a primer colour. Then I apply the primary and secondary colours before applying a ‘wash’ to the model. A ‘wash’ is used for both to shade and to add some definition to the details of the model. Next up I touch up the model with some ‘highlights’ and try to do some ‘wet blending’ on her skirt.

I’m not a great miniatures painter. I’ld class myself as a decent tabletop painter. The results of my painting are below.

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so now we get to the hard part of the post ‘Why we do, what we do’.

For me it’s part escape, part challenge, part love of the game and not forgetting the social aspect.

There’s something to be said about ‘the escape’. for that 1 hour plus, you cease to be your everyday self. All your daily live trapping melt away and your just a player. Theres just you, your opponent and the game to be played.

Theres the challenge, do i have it within me to do this. For some its the challenge of assembling and painting a miniature to the best of their ability and beyond. For others its the challenge of competition. Can I out perform others, do i have what it takes to be number 1?

And finally but not least theres the love of the game. Perhaps its the artwork, or the models, or the fluff (the background story), or the rules of a game that draws you in.

There’s something to be said about any game that draws you into a made up world or universe. For myself with Privateer Press’s game Warmachine it was the model design and rules. The idea that a giant steam powered robot has the ability to pick up a model and throw it at something else or having the ability to headbut and knock another model down is appealling to me and that these abilities are reflected in-game is great.

I feel a big part of any game is the social aspect of the game. I’ve been playing games for most of my life and i’ve found time and time again that gamers (of tabletop, board game and card games) are some of the most socially inclusive groups you’ll encounter.

** Disclaimer**
One exception might be if you interupt someone while they are in the middle of their winning master plan.

To be able to sit down with either friends or complete strangers and have fun, shoot the breeze, regardless of backgrounds, occupations or beliefs is something rare and to be treasured.

My brother asked me ‘why i do it’, tabletop wargames wise? I gave him all the reasons i just gave you. Reading back over this post i think i left out a simple but important thing. In the words of a friend ‘Witness Me!!!’.

In tabletop wargames, being able to put a fully assembled, fully painted army on the table is a statement in itself. ‘Witness Me’, I constructed this army list. I built it, I painted it and now I’m here to play it. This army is a part of me, regardless how good a player I am.

Maybe I’ve been able to communicate my thoughts, I hope so.

– from The Man Cave

On the road to the WTC 2015 Part 8 – Hobocon 4… It’s a thing now

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HoboCon 4... Its a thing now

I’ve been going to HoboCon since the first one. As a matter of fact HoboCon was the first Con I went to when I first started playing Warmachine/ Hordes. Back at the first one, the Warmachine/ Hordes tournament was only 5 tables, in a small room. Ohh how we’ve grown.

HoboCon 4 ran from May 30th to June 1st at The Teachers Club on Parnell Square, Dublin.

So if your looking at the dates you’ll notice I’m running behind on this one (and a few others to be honest)…

For HoboCon 4 there was 3 Warmachine/ Hordes events running over the course of the Con. On saturday there was a WTC style team event, on sunday there was a 50 point Masters event and on the monday they held a 25 point begineers event. Unfortunately I could only make it to the team event on saturday.

For the Team Event we had 6 Teams of 5 people. The team tournament was based on the World Team Championship format. I was on Team Dublin, which consisted of Ciaran Bolger (playing Skorne), Stuart Gorman (playing Khador), John Foster (playing Trolls), ‘Lovely’ Mike (playing Protectorate of Menoth) and myself (playing Convergence).

I brought my Father Lucant + Aurora lists. My lists were:

Father Lucant
Corolary
Diffuser
Cipher
Optifex Directive
Reflex Servitors x 2
Elmination Servitors
Clockwork Angels x 2
Obstructors
Minimum Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Enigma Foundry

Aurora
Mitigator x 2
Reflex Servitors x 2
Elmination Servitors
Obstructors
Reciprocators
Minimun Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Clockwork Angels x 2
Enigma Foundry
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex

While doing a Google search looking for some pic’s for this post using ‘HoboCon’ as the search word, the below image was one of the first to pop up…

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Not a totally inaccurate representation of the day…

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There was a great turnout on the day. Orginally there was supposed to be enough for 8 Teams of 5 but with any Con, some times there is drop outs due to life and work (work being the reason for me not attending the other 2 events).

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The Team Tournament was for 3 rounds with every member of a team playing one game every round using ‘Deathclock’.

My first game of round 1 was against a Cygnar player playing P.Caine, I played my Father Lucant list.

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Thru the use of Father Lucants spell ‘Deceleration’ (which grants +2 defense and +2 armour vs ranged attacks) and Lucants Feat (which grants +4 armour) I lost very little during the course of the game.

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The game ended with a win by Assassination for me by a ‘Positive Charge’d’ Lucant.

In Round 2 I was up verses a Skorne player who was playing the Warlock Xerxis theme list ‘Fists of Halaak’.

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Unfortunately for me I’ve had little table time verses Skorne or this list (which happens to be a main list for many Skorne players).

‘Deceleration’ again helped in this match up but with my opponents list having access to 3″ AOE’s that have the continous fire effect, i lost alot of models. I ‘clocked’ myself in this game but not before I killed his Titan Gladiator Heavy Warbeast. So that was a loss for me but good game.

My third game was against a Khador player playing Butcher3 as his warcaster. Yet again the battery on my phone died, so no photo’s for this round 😥

My Elmination Servitors did some work this round killing off his Iron Fang Pikemen. My Perforators managed to hold a zone basically all by themselves vs a unit of Pikemen and a Colossal. During the game we had to call a judge to help us work out what happens when Lucant shield guarded a Crit Devistation from my opponents Colossal. The game ended when i baited my opponent into using his Feat + Focus stack into killing my entire unit of Obstructors.

He used ‘Flashing Blade’, ‘Energized’, ‘ ‘Flashing Blade’ then charged, Feated and finished off the unit. It really was impressive but I then sent a ‘Positive Charge’d’ Lucant in to seal the deal. So a win by assassination for me.

The day ended with 2 wins and a loss for myself. Whats more Team Dublin ended up in second place… Woo Hoo!!! Team Dublin even managed to place better than one of the Irish WTC teams.

A great day was had by all and I cant wait till HoboCon 5.

– from The Man Cave

I’m a bad Daddy…

As a wargamer i’m always on the look out for terrain for my games.

Harking back to the days when i played Warhammer 40K, i would scratch build terrain for games from what i could find Lego, coffee stirers, foam board or old toys. It was all game.

Every friday i give my kids their pocket money. The youngest one goes ape for Kinder Eggs. In case you’ve never seen them Kinder Eggs have a chocolate shell with a toy in the center.
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I dont know how true the above is but i know E129 is banned (which is in alot of sweets this side of the pond).

Note to self, dont eat anything containing E129, or you could be arrested for smuggling…

A while back they released a new version.
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Which comes with a bigger toy. This time it was a spinning top.
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Early in the year Privateer Press released their Steamroller organized play document for Warmachine and Hordes.

In Steamroller 2015 during list creation your required to choose an objective to include in your army. The obectives all share the same stat’s but vary in their abilities. One takes less damage at range, one when within a certain distance allows your Jacks/ Beasts run/ charge for free, another one makes you immune to blast damage for example.

The one i have been including in my Lucant list is called Arcane Wonder. It has a spell casting benefit and a defensive ability.

When i saw my daughters Kinder Egg toy i knew i wanted it. image

After all doesnt it look nicer as an objective for my wargames. All it needs now is a lick of paint and we’re good to go.

I guess i’ll have to buy her a new one, to make it up to her… I wonder what toy she’ll get this time…

– from The Man Cave

On the road to the WTC 2015 Part 6 – Leprecon XXXVI

Sunday just gone, the 8th of March, i headed off to Leprecon XXXVI to take part in a Steamroller 2015 event for Privateer Press’s Warmachine and Hordes tabletop miniature game. I thought i’ld do a little write up.

After alot of going back and forth between Casters and lists i decided on Father Lucant and Iron Mother Directrix.
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We had a decent show for the event, about 16 players showed up. Alot of the community is saving their money for the Irish Masters at the end of the month, which will run from friday evening thru to Sunday evening.

So the event was slated for 4 rounds, each player brings 2 lists both of 50 points. Each list had to be played at least once. The tournament was to use Deathclock timing. Deathclock timing is where each player has 1 hour to play a game each round of the tournament. If your time runs out, it’s considered a loss.

My first game was verses Harry Cullen (of Irelands 2014 WTC Team Craic) who plays Cygnar.
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I didnt fancy either of my lists against his lists. So I played my Iron Mother Directrix list (more to get it out of the way so that i could play lucant for the rest of the day). Harry chose his Styker2 list as i thought he would in response to a Lucant list. Unfortunately this was a bad game for me and i lost by assassination. Although i did think this was a playable game, this game for me was 1 brain fart after another. I think with Iron Mother i suffer with the ‘shiney penny’ syndrome. In that she has the ability to play different styles (as a gun platorm or a spell slinger) but you have to decide what style and dont go off plan during the game. The game ended with me scoring 0 Control Points and 12 Army Points.

My second game was verses Conor Goulding, another Cygnar player. He chose to play Striker3, I chose Lucant.
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My Perforators did great in this game crippling the arms on his 2 Warjacks (an Avenger and the character Warjack Rowdy). Despite taking a good lead of 3 Control Points due to Stryker3’s Feat and Electro Leaps Conor was able to turn the tide and start scoring. In the end i was left with the choice of charging an enemy model to try contest an objective to stop Conor from scoring. Unfortunately I didnt get enough distance and lost the game to scenario. The game ended with me scoring 3 Control Points and 11 Army Points.

My third game was verses Eoin Dornan (of Northern Irelands WTC 2014 Team), who was playing the Protectorate of Menoth. He chose a Reznik2 list, i chose Lucant.
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I have to say this game was my favourite of the day. This game seemed to sway back and forth between us. Eoin’s Feat turn (called Purge the Unbelievers) lasted 25 minutes alone and had me scared.
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He succeeded in getting Lucant down to only 3 health. On my turn, thru repairs from my Optifex Directive and Galvanizer light Vector, Lucant was healed back up till he only had 3 damage on him. My Reciprocators buffed up by Lucants spell ‘Positive Charge’ took care of Eoin’s Reckoner Heavy Warjack. Unfortunately for me on Eoin’s turn, he cleared out space and claimed the win. The game finished as a scenario loss for me. I claimed 3 Control Points and 20 Army Points. I cant say enough how much i enjoyed this game.

my final game was verses our main Trolls player Noel. He played P. Doomshapers tier list ‘Runes of War’. I played Iron Mother.
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Trolls have constantly been a problem for me since i started playing Convergence of Cyriss and ‘Runes of War’ the biggest. Basically how ‘Runes’ plays is it slowly advances behind moveable walls. When in range its units of Runeshapers knock you down then P. Doomshapers Heavy Beasts come at you and tear you up. This game ended as an assassination of my Caster. I managed 0 Control Points and 20 Army Points.

I had some great games and fun at Leprecon. Hope you enjoyed my little write up.

– from The Man Cave

Watch “Meet the Community – Alan Buckley” on YouTube

The Man Cave presents the first in a series called ‘Meet the Community’. The aim of ‘Meet the Community’ is to introduce players of Privateer Press’s Warmachine and Hordes tabletop miniature game to each other.