Monday 28 January 2019

I survived CanCon!

So, I’ve survived the CanCon ITS Infinity tournament - five games of Infinity over two days. While I didn’t hit my goal for win / loss, I had an amazing time. Every game was enjoyable, the organisers and players were welcoming - I don’t have a bad word to say.

I’ll get back to more regular posts once I’m back in the right country. I’ve got a ton of material all lined up I just need to upload and write about for you all!

Monday 21 January 2019

Prepping for CanCon

Got the last few bits of CanCon prep done. Painted some base rims and fire arc markers, and glued some markers.

I’ll update the painting tally properly when I’m back.

Not impressed by the silhouette markers - they did not stay glued for long and I’ll be ordering different ones shortly.

Monday 14 January 2019

Warhammer World New Year's Open Day - Painting Table

One of the things on offer at the Open Day was an opportunity to paint an already assembled Chaos Warrior and take them away with you afterwards. Having managed to paint nothing but scenery all last year, I was a bit nervous of getting back to painting, but I managed to get a bunch done and I was pretty pleased with how he turned out.

He's not quite finished yet, so I'm not ticking a figure off on the "figures painted this year" list, but it definitely enthused me to get more done - and reminded me what an hour or so of concentration and painting can actually achieve!

Thursday 10 January 2019

Infinity Practice - Druze Bayram Security vs ISS

Practice for this year's tournament season continues with another game of Supplies, this time against ISS. Many thanks to Yashar for providing me with some challenging horrors to beat my list against.

My models weren't yet back from my painter, so I was using a few proxies to start trying to get the hang of the Peacemaker, a key midfield piece for the Druze.

Meanwhile, Yashar was experimenting with running a Core link of Wu Ming. They incinerated a couple of long ranged threats with Heavy Rocket Launchers, then headed up table.

Keen to not get into a "discussion" with my E/M Light Grenade Launcher, they speculatively fired grenades onto him until he was unconscious.

Smoke then got laid down to get them into the centre field.

The Peacemaker got neutralised from across the field.

The Rui-Shi advanced and took the Sniper down to end the turn.

The Engineer bot proceeded to head up field and fix the Peacemaker...

But it only managed to neutralise a Kanren before being taken out itself.

A bit of aggressive work with a shotgun neutralised the rest of the link...

And the Wu Ming ended up holding more of the supply boxes and winning the game.

The lessons learned here mostly focused on deployment. I didn't have an active repeater network forward to inhibit the Wu Ming, and they neutralised the real threats to them early on. Leaving the Druze forward when my opponent had first turn (and had chosen it with ISS) probably left them too vulnerable to an Alpha Strike. So, when going second, have the speed bumps be more speed bump, and less important pieces!

Monday 7 January 2019

Warhammer World New Year's Open Day - All The Gossip

Without further ado, I'm going straight into the assorted pictures and nonsense I managed to pick up at the Open Day. There's no real revelations here - there's prettier pictures over at the Warhammer Community site - this is more about what I saw and what I thought about it.

Lets start off with Blood Bowl. The new stuff here was some additional Goblin Secret Weapons, including one with wings, one with a pogo stick, and an 'Ooligan with a bunch of noise making gizmos. These are the sort of thing I expect my darling wife may pick up at some point...

There's also an alternative troll sculpt if that's your thing. This one seems to be wielding someone's leg, which is pretty cool. Some extra variety is really nice to see.

Helmut Wulf and Karla von Kill had already been announced (and can in fact be ordered from Forge World now) but it was great to see them in the flesh. Karla is a bad-ass female character whose background is simply that she's a great Blood Bowl player. That she's sensibly dressed is a relief. Meanwhile, Helmut Wulf is a lunatic with a chainsaw. What could possibly go wrong?

On to Necromunda. If this figure looks familiar, that's because it was formerly available for the now discontinued Forge World Renegades range. The discontinuation inconveniently made it a little harder to get a Rogue Wyrd for your campaign, so he's getting a repackage and rerelease into Necromunda. Which is kind of sweet.

The Am-bot is a robot designed to look like an Ambull that any gang can hire. It looks like either there's more than one way to build the kit or more than one version going to be available. I love these to death, they're great.

Wait a second. A Blackstone Fortress expansion . . . called "The Dreaded Ambull". Surely not?

Apparently so! The Ambull is back in 40K as a monster in Blackstone Fortress. I cannot foresee a circumstance where I won't be buying this. It's amazing!

They also had an early copy of "Urban Conquest", a new campaign system for 40K. I really like this, it looks well thought through and rather clever.

You make a "map" of the city by dealing cards into a five by five grid in a wallet. It's designed for four players, with different starting map layout options. Each "campaign" turn can be after any number of games, including none if you've missed a round! You rank the players depending on how they did, then they do stuff like capture territory, select strategies for the next round of games, and accumulate their victory points.

This would be a lot of book keeping if there weren't reusable stickers supplied with the back so you can just fold the map up and get it out next time, with all the player positions and stratagems all neatly laid out. The designer also said it should work quite well for Kill Team. I'm not sure if it's designed for it or if it would need a little modding.

The pack is designed to handle the usual campaign woes of people missing weeks, or getting a drubbing and ending up near the bottom - it's intended to be quite forgiving of that and give people who are significantly behind ways to catch up. It's not just a case of winning the most games - if you outmanoeuvre the other players on the campaign board, you might win the campaign without having won as many games as them.

There were a bundle of other releases - this was a Mechanicus who'll be in a Kill Team expansion box. I'm assuming there will be 40K rules for them as well. There was also a ton of Genestealer Cult stuff, an announcement of a Ghoul vs Skaven box, and various other things I didn't have time to find and photograph.

The goblins, or "Gloomspite" were also out in force. Jes Bickham has been making an all troll / Troggoth army. I'm resisting things one for now - I had a few good talks about what I'm looking to get out of Age of Sigmar and I'm getting slightly more concrete thoughts about what I want to collect. I'm going to keep those to myself for now.

I'm pleased to say that a weekend away seeing amazing hobby stuff, and hanging out with awesome people has really ignited my hobby keen. I can't wait to get underway with various projects, and then tell you about them on here.

Thursday 3 January 2019

Trying out The Other Side

Last month I pottered down to Dark Sphere because our local Henchman was running demos of Wyrd Games' new . . . game, The Other Side. I'm a huge fan of Malifaux (and eagerly await their new edition) and wanted to see how the new game would fare.

We're playing with about half a full force of miniatures - you usually run with two commanders and about twice as many models, but to keep things manageable, the Henchman was running demos with just the one.

The Other Side is based in the same setting as Malifaux, covering events back on earth in the ongoing narrative of the joined games. In short, horrible magical beasties have broken through and the opening four factions consist of the two biggest nations - The King's Empire and Abyssinia, and two different types of horrible monster - The Cult of the Burning Man and the Gibbering Hordes.

I picked Abyssinia because if I do pick up The Other Side, I'm most likely to go for them as a faction, if only because I think it's time game manufacturers started putting a better spread of representation into their games and I should put my money where my mouth is.

As it was an intro game, we were keeping things pretty simple - we both had one commander, a few units, and weren't using some of the more advanced rules. I still got a bunch of tactics tokens, though, as they're pretty core to the game.

The first thing I did with some of my tactics tokens was to spend two of them...

... because unlike Malifaux, where you get a hand of cards to "cheat" in and replace cards you've flipped from the top of the deck, you have to pay for them in The Other Side.

Your models are a varied number of large bases of miniatures, and broadly, everything has one hit, so as your fireteams take casualties, you remove models from the larger base. There's a cool little reinforcement mechanic where you can put models back into a fireteam.

There are different play styles for different factions. The Abyssinians are the ones with the most advanced technology, and have reliable, pretty elite troops. They're not shabby up close, either.

The Cult of the Burning Man have a weird mechanic with portals which means that they zip about the board teleporting all the time.

So, my overall verdict on The Other Side? Cautiously interested. I haven't seen anything to make me dive excitedly in and buy all the things. It's a solid, well put together game with a slowly growing community. If you're interested in getting into it, delays on the original Kickstarter means that there are a few people looking to offload relatively large purchases on the cheap.

I had a similar problem when I first started getting into Malifaux - there wasn't a single faction that jumped out to me and said "You love me now". But then again, I'm not sure if that's a wider problem I have across a lot of games.

If you like the look of this, I can confirm that it plays pretty well. You'll need to find people locally to you who are interested as well, because this isn't something that would work well with solo play. It's quite hard for me to reach a conclusion because it's, well, OK, I guess?

Infinity: Practice Game, Druze vs Onyx Contact Force

So, I'm trying to get plenty of practice games in with my Druze for CanCon in late January. In this case, I got in a quick game of Supplies against Onyx Contact Force. I'm not going to do a blow by blow account, but more zoom in on the specific learning points.

I was trying out the Hunzakut with light grenade launcher for the first time, and he was quite good. I wasn't to know that the Umbra I was casually lobbing grenades at when I ran out of ideas for orders was the Lieutenant, but it was super effective when I managed to take him down.

Outside of a link, speculative fire is pretty unreliable and you really want to be within 16 inches (the positive range modifier for the LGL) if you're doing so. Deploying the annoying infiltrator up on a rooftop right by the centre line is particularly effective for making sure that anything advancing is getting into that sort of bother. It does, however, limit his capacity to move up the board later.

I got into an ugly firefight with a Sphinx, and mostly was saved by causing enough problems that it mainly ended up acting in the reactive turn and not the active turn. I needed more solutions to TO than I had available in this list, but later revisions are giving me more ways to approach it.

Hacking is big and clever, but it doesn't take out the target. In this case, I got a temporary immobilisation on the Sphinx, but wasn't able to capitalise and ruin it's day. If I'd had, say, a Peacemaker available to run it's Auxbot up and set the Sphinx on fire once it was immobilised, life would have been sweet.

I nearly lost track of the objectives this game, and an Ikadron managed to grab a supplies crate from the objective and run off with it. This could have potentially cost me the game on my weak flank!

The Druze link team needs to advance to do work. They may take the odd casualty as they do so, but they're brutal when used well and their ability to reform as needed is something that has got me out of quite a few pickles.

I managed to win this particular practice game, but for me, these games aren't necessarily about the winning or losing. I need to ask myself what I learned. What went wrong in the game? What can I change or improve on to avoid that going wrong in a future game? What reminders do I need to set myself?

In some ways, writing these blog posts helps a lot, as I can come back to the game and reflect on these lessons after the game. And hopefully, that will lead to me being a better player in the future.