Off the beaten Path: Hollow Holden

A not so hollow addition to the Grymkin Ranks…

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Welcome back to another trip off the “main road.” This time around we are taking a look at an upcoming model for the Grymkin lineup. While there has been some chatter and write ups already (easily found, and great might I add!) Id like to hit on this model so I can better familiarize myself with him, and share with you my thoughts. These are going to be from my perspective so take them with a grain of salt, coming from a newbie!

So WHO is Hollow Holden? He was a Marksman & Ranger before falling to the ranks of Grymkin in the ‘Battle for Boarsgate’ (a narrative event,) during Lock & Load 2017. After being assimilated into the Grymkin ranks, Privateer Press worked with the community to sketch out and develop the would be individual we see ‘now’ in the CID  (Community Integrated Development.)

Privateer Press sum’s up the description as follows, officially:

“Holden has fallen to the Grymkin at the Battle of Boars Gate! He has joined his fellow cowards and deserters with the Hollowmen. Holden before his turn was a marksman and a ranger. Bestowing some of his skills to his unit (Pathfinder) is important to his concept. Constantly being tortured and pushed to fight by his gremlin handler who is flipping his fated coin shown in the Poisoned Fate rule. Pulling down his opponents with Weaken or showing is cowardice and retreating with Reposition are both very thematic options.” – PPS_Oz

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As you can see from the sketching above, he is far from the man he once was. Now, he joins the regime of the Hollowmen, a group of deserters that bring with them the burdens of their former lives.

So lets just jump into the REAL reason we are here. To discuss the proposed stats and characteristics Holden might just bring to the table. As with any CID cycle, things can change, but as of now (11.9.17) we can see the current iteration as follows:

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Lets take a dive into what can be seen here…

Being Defense 13, Armor 12 (14 if Under the warmth of the Death Knell,) means you dont want him toeing the front lines during any game. Being a Weapon Attachment at Cost 4 he is a point more expensive than the Lantern Man. (Although now available in the ‘Bump in the Night’ theme force & as a ‘Free Model’ if selected.) For the swap, youll loose Blood Bound, Ghost Light, & Obscuring Mist…but gain ‘Granted: Pathfinder’ in addition to ‘Poisoned Fate’ and the rest of his personal kit. I really believe this is a great trade, and will explain why as we go forward. With SR2017 up and running at full speed, rough terrain is everywhere! Having Pathfinder on one unit helps solve some deployment issues for sure!

***NOTE: After posting this, I was pointed out by a reader that a Weapon Attachment (Holden,) can be taken in addition to the Command Attachment (Lantern Man,) so disregard the about “trade/swap” and keep note of that! Learn something new everyday!***

Eyeless Sight & apparition are staples for Hollowmen, and coupled with a few additional rules ill address below, they are a welcomed touch. Holden himself gains Annoyance, and rightfully so with a gremlin on his back! Extremely situational but not to be discounted during those last ditch efforts to win a match.

Skipping ahead, he has two weapons. A Trench Knife at MAT 5 P+S 9 RNG 0.5, and a Hunting Rifle at RAT 7 (base) POW 10 RNG 14. The Knife appears to be there to match the melee capabilities of this accompanied unit, all the while less of a threat due to reduced RNG, Damage, and lack of Brutal Charge.

Things begin to shine with Holden’s Rifle however. At range 14, he can be kept safely away from the fray yet available enough to do work. Prowl will keep him safe while having the ‘Sniper’ stat will help weed out infantry as it allows to do one point of damage instead of a damage roll & removes the ability to tough.

Now, we introduce ‘Poisoned Fate.’

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‘Poisoned Fate’ plays out in the following manner: During your  Maintenance Phase, roll one D6 or Flip a Coin (ill be doing the later with my Heretic Coin!) On Heads (1-3 on a die,) the unit gains Reposition 3″. One a flip of Tails (4-6 on a die,) both of Holdens weapons gain ‘Weaken.’ For ‘Weaken,’ a living model HIT (not damaged, which is great for high armor beasts/living models) suffer -2 DEF & -2 STR for one round. How it reads, it cannot be shaken and can be used to soften up a target or blunt an incoming attack due to its one round duration.

The randomness can lead to some jarring game play. If you can get past the unpredictability…knowing what your unit attached to Holden does at the beginning of your turn helps a bit from its original iteration of only knowing what Poisoned Fate did at the beginning of the units activation.

The two effects can probably be used like so: Reposition is handy to keep the unit safe after a volley of shots, jam further into enemy lines after a successful charge, or to block charge lanes after an assault. Weaken is situational granted its on Holden only. I feel with his Rifles Range and if positioned well, it can come in handy to soften up a living target for a charge from his unit or nearby friendlies. (A lucky roll on a model with higher than average DEF is now a meaty target!) Have a beast about to charge a heavy on the next turn? Reducing its damage output by -2 STR helps a ton!

What I like about Holden:

  • Granting Pathfinder to one unit of Hollowmen is fine & dandy!
  • Prowl keeps him safer in battle.
  • His Hunting Rifles range allows him to play a little more reserved, yet still allowing use of him….especially with Eyeless Sight.
  • Being allowable in Bump in the Night (Theme Force) and as a selectable ‘Free Model’ will allow him to see game time more easier..possibly a staple?
  • Poisoned Fate is something im still on the fence about, but im likely to fall on this side than the later.

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What I dis-like about Holden:

  • Lack of Durability: Sure he’s now apart of the Hollowmen. I just feel he’s going to be a target during battle, and he ill crumble even with five hitboxes.
  • Unpredictable plans involving Poisoned Fate. Guess you need to hope for the best, and plan for the worst?
  • He still feels as if he’s missing something. Sure he brings good tools already, but Id like to see the addition of something else. Maybe ROF 2? Finisher? Food for thought.

Holden still has some time in this round of the CID cycle. This means opportunities to be tweaked and changed…for better or for worse. What are your thoughts? Is he too powerful? Lacking? Will he see much game play?

As always thanks for taking your time to read this article. Hope you enjoyed it. If not? Leave a comment! If so, Leave a comment! Id love to hear your thoughts on this, and on other postings ive made to my page. Until next time, take care and good luck on the battlefields of Immoren.

-Nick

A Grym Journey: Journal Entry 2

As the Journey continues, “Dont stop believin’….”

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Preface:

Warcasters & Warlocks, welcome! Dark arts creep around me as dusk begins to fall. Typing this up on the day of ghouls and ghastly happenings. Yes, Halloween. What a GRYM day to begin this post. Going to have a short week, as im attending BlizzCon this weekend for any who are acquainted with the event. If not, fear not…I still have another report to share!

Journal Entry #2:

This week marks the second round of my FLGS’s “Weekly Steamroller.” I come into this round with a record of 0-1 (you can read that report here: Grym Journey: Journal Entry 1.)

As the forces of Grym beings I command move forth in search of another encounter, we spot the great Red Army, Khador.

My opponent for the second week is Josh, and his mighty Khador Army. Josh is a well known and consistent player in our Meta who brings with him mighty Warcasters capable of devastation and butchery.  Yup, I am going to either face-off against Butcher3 or Irusk1. Both of which im concerned about. Irusk1 I am unfamiliar with, but I know Josh wouldnt have tossed him in as an option without reason. The second, Butcher3…well its Butcher3. His name says enough. His reputation of incredible assassinations and/or clearing 1/3 of the table regardless of what stands there is not foreign to me.

List Selection:

With Wanderer and Dreamer in my ranks, I weigh out the options. While Wanderer might be able to avoid an assassination from Butcher or amuse the ranks of Man-o-War’s that Irusk would introduce to my face, im not confident that my army can hold back his from overrunning my lines. Dreamer in DM brings two min units of Dread Rots & Twilight Sisters to help jar up a zone or two. Additionally the Goblin Swarms may be more difficult than anticipated to remove allowing me to contest easier…as magical weapons are not a plenty in Khador.

Scenario: Breakdown

My Wanderer list might be able to tar pit zones and bully unsuspecting Solo’s/Units but I am nearly confident they can easily be negated by Butcher3 if he drops him, leaving me with little left to retaliate in that situation.

With two Cage Ragers and Skin & Moans, I decide that the Dreamer is the better choice. She will have Manifest Destiny to help with damage/clearing and my Beasts should be able to take a few hits under the Death Knell. My Dread Rots should buy enough time to clog charge lanes and do some damage themselves (hopefully.)

My opponent chooses Butcher3 as his Warcaster, hoping he will lead the Mighty Khadoran army right over the Grym army that amasses.

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A snapshot of Butcher3 another friend of mine owns. ‘Lola’ looks angry!

Lists & Arcana:

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Arcana Chosen: Ruin & Sacrifice. Trump: All Fall Down

Sacrifice seems like the proper choice. Having played Warmachine before jumping to Hordes, at times I know it can be more difficult for them to do the damage they anticipate. Hoping to use it in a situation where he might damage some beasts (in a situation where he failed to destroy,) and kill something insignificant..I could capitalize next turn. As for Ruin,  Butcher3 has a crazy Assassination reach. 15″ if I remember correctly. His assassination includes several spells and one upkeep. With the Arcane Vortex from Corpse Fueled Cage Ragers and this Arcana, id hope to minimize the damage and remove his upkeep..blunting this unstoppable attack if he made his move. As for Dreamers Trump, All Fall Down serves as a backup if a high priority target engages and is in my grasp to counter next turn.


We shake hands, and I wish him good luck. Josh is a very strong opponent and last we met he played against my Cryx Army. He overextended and I capitalized with a Skarre1 Feated Jack-Spam (Before it was cool/before Black Industries.) I know he will not make the mistake a second time. He wins on the roll and chooses sides, opting for unboxing/deployment friendlier side.

Deployment:

With losing the roll, I dont get the additional information of where his ranged threats will begin (Behemoth comes to mind.) I evenly space out my Gremlins hoping they will be in the right spot(s), at the right time(s). Dreamer is front and center ready to take place on the hill that lies to my left. Having two clouds near the center of the map, I feel this might help be advance one of my units of Dread Rots, so I place one there. I toss a Rager on each flank of Dreamer, just in case I need to Arc a spell or two! Sisters deploy to the right, with the other unit of Rots, to assist in jamming that side as most my ‘beef’ is to my left/center.

My opponent deploys with Behemoth to my right, and Butcher across from Dreamer. Joy. (Note – One Eliminator will be marked using the blue proxy base for this game.)

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Turn One:

Grymkin – Apparition happens on my Swarms and the Twilight Sisters run towards the ‘blue’ house. My Heavies run forward, aggressively. Units advance and Gremlins charge forward into the fray! Well….all but one. Cant even think of a legitimate excuse for this mistake. Dreamer lays down her Artifice of Deviation (AoD) near his objective and drops a fury to boot. Pass turn.

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Khador – Eliminators on my left dont care about Rough Terrian, nope. No Cares given.  The battlegroup is granted Energizer and does its thing, yet forgetting to move his War Argi (this would keep Butcher boxed up a little longer.) Next everything runs up and I take note that he will have his goodies inside the zones before I do. Turn passes.

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Turn Two:

Grymkin – I position one Skin & Moans behind the left shack, in position to bait the Alpha and otherwise contest those two zones for the upcoming turns. My painted S&M to the left walks up cautiously. I toss my Cage Rager on the Hill, as Id like to have him there if I see an opportunity arise to arc Enfeeble or a Abyssal Gate at something. Dread Rots jam the center, blocking charge lanes. The rest of my forces to the right have similar ideas. Rots run, Sisters position and I remember to run the forgotten Swarm up! I also toss a Swarm at his Devastator hoping it might be more of an issue that he might give it credit for. Dreamer walks atop her little hill and shifts the AoD towards the center, as I want to clog up that area. Pass Turn.

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Two things are going through my head at this moment. A.) Im happy with my positioning, mindful of threats and layering my Beasts. (At least coming from a newbies perspective.) B.) Ive taken more time to execute this turn than im comfortable with. Go Figure.

Khador – He really wants that S&M as I had predicted. His widowmaker clears out a Rot for the landing zone. Seems Ruin wants to play. Butcher activates and Does Energizer again. Cool fact (at least how we played, if im wrong please correct me) Energizer can and will allow for jacks to move out of B2B from swarms, negative their mischief! The Devastator gets away! On the right, the Kayazy Eliminators and Behemoth clear most of the Rots out that are standing in the zone. Ruin charges my S&M and surprisingly leaves it alive with a few (less than three,) hit points. The eliminators nearby walk over and Combo-Strike it off the board.

Wanted to use the Dreamers Trump, All Fall Down on Ruin, yet couldnt.

My opponent skims his backfield shifting Mechaniks around, and passes turn. CP: 0-1,  Khador.

Right around this point of the game, I shockingly have more time on the clock than my opponent does. Seems he took longer than anticipated, yet both our turns are slow and in general up to this point thought out.

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Turn Three:

Grymkin – Knowing im ahead on time I carefully measure out my options this turn. First things first. I want some more fodder on my right. Sisters bring back two Rots and they approach the Eliminators/zone. Ruin is staring down Dreamer. Not a great spot to be in, yet not out of my purview to handle. So I have two choices, and withing those two choices, are additional choices. Cage Rager on my Left can run up and act as an arc to pull the Juggernaut near the shack (outside 1″) close enough to my painted S&M, so he can munch on. I like the involved steps in that decision but setting up a 14 point arc node, to send in a 15 point heavy on a 12 point heavy doesnt sound like good math. Next option is sending my Cage Rager in to at the very least tie up Ruin. Karianna enrages the left Rager, Dreamer pops Manifest Destiny, and he tramples over the Eliminators to knock on ruins hull. He leaves it on around 13 boxes.

Something happened about this point in the game, and I began to lose my composure. Cant explain it, but I began to get nervous and stressed. Maybe it was knowing this was a tournament game and I didnt want to lose for a second week in a row? No clue. I came in wanting to have fun and play well, but it began to crumble around this point in the match.

I dont want Ruin there anymore. I make the poor decision to send in the right Cage Rager in to finish the job. He does so. I say poor, and it really was. Looking back at this game, i’ve basically bunched up two of my heavies for Butcher3 to delete if he wants. Next, the eliminators are too close to Rose/Dreamer for comfort. I send in S&M, careful to toe the zone and send four attacks into them, missing all four (talking to a friend afterwards, I should have boosted my first two initials against the extremely high defense the Eliminators bring, removing them and giving me corpses.) Im running fury heavy, and decide to stop, noticing im in trouble next turn. Why? Fury management was poor this turn, and AGAIN I bunched another Heavy up for Butcher to visit. Pass Turn. CP 0-1, Khador.

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I actually see what ive done at this point, serving up my remaining Heavies for a possible Butcher3 Feat turn. I really let theses mistakes get the best of my as the game continues, even developing a headache that would last until the next day.

Khador – So I anticipate the hurt coming this turn. My opponent spends a surprisingly large amount of time considering his options. During allocation, the left Juggernaut receives two focus, and more plans are made. He decides against sending Butcher3 in, activating him and tossing Silence of Death on the Focus filled Juggernaut. Next he energizes all his battle group, except the fueled/buffed Juggernaut to my left…moving on to other activation’s.

My opponent had carefully planned to move said jack, measuring his would be positioning before he began any of his activation’s. Unfortunately he didnt move it during Energize, going to other movements and activation’s afterwards instead. Once he caught his mistake, he admitted that might have costed him the game. I personally didnt see how it meant game over, but being leagues ahead of me in experience…I didnt argue.

This meant the Juggernaut did not have a charge lane at my painted S&M. He side steps him away from the shack instead, during its activation. The Marksmen removes a Rot that stands in the right Juggy’s path, as does a Greylord Forge Seer. The right Juggernaut charges in, trying to muster up another plan on the fly…yet doesnt do much damage to the Cage Rager under the blanket of the Death Knell. Eliminators on the right chew through some Rots, ignoring their tough rule (an annoying little thing I found out in this game!) Eliminators on my left charge Karianna and kill her, giving my army Sorrowful Rampage for one turn (+1 to attack and damage rolls.) Devastator easily takes out my objective. Pass Turn. CP: 0-2, Khador.

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Turn Four: 

Grymkin – I try and deal with the mis-managed fury as best as I can. I reason out that if the two Ragers go bonkers and frenzy, they act as a wall still. I pull the Fury from my S&M as I know he can kill off the Juggernaut that moved out and exposed himself last turn. Both my Heavies in the center Frenzy, smacking each other. Slightly amusing. I send my S&M to the Juggernaut and take it off the board, with the help of last turns Sorrowful Rampage Trigger.

Newbie Alert. I think at about this time I realize I havnt used any arcana, nor thought of using one since not getting to use it on Ruin. In addition I forgot to create Phantasm on Ruin, but luckily remember to on the Juggernaut!

The large Phantasm plants himself near Butcher. I run my Swarm that was way over in the backfield, near the Ragers for effect. Rots on my right Jam up the Devastator after a few were brought back by the Sisters.

If ive done anything right this game, it was using these girls to jam up  that side of the board, very well.

Dreamer goes incorporeal, and puts a AoD up in the middle to help screen my Ragers. Pass Turn. CP: 0-2, Khador.

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“The late, late, late game…..”

So still, ive managed to be about three minutes ahead of my opponent. He doesnt have much time left. At this part of the game, he manages to score on the right zone. Its well coordinated with a few good calls. Devastator AoE’s the nearby Rots, Forgeseer’s get within range to plink off one Swarm, as Behemoth does the same with the remaining. CP raises to 0-3, in Khadors favor. I trigger Sacrifice during this time-frame, and heal my Rager back to full.

Heh, at least I can say I used one this game, right?

I contest with the center swarm, run the Sisters into the zone for insurance and click over. My opponent notions to the mere seconds remaining on the clock, and Grymkin is awarded with a victory by Deathclock! We have hands and have a sit-down.

Post-Game Thoughts: 

I should have lost this game. Had Butcher3 committed to the heavies, I had nothing to retaliate with, even if I had used my….ARCANA. Seriously need to look for more triggers throughout games.

We both were agitated by mis-plays and poor decision/time management issues. We talked a few things out and how things could have went. Again, all in his favor as he was clearly in charge this game.

The reason he didnt commit butcher in was due to fear’s of Ruin (Arcana) plus Arcane Vortex’s on the Ragers. Flashing Blade/Energizes are spells. He noted while it wouldnt entirely stop him, but it would have ate through a decent amount of focus & stripped his upkeep during that assassination/attack run. So while the Arcana didnt get used, I guess it did its job and kept my opponent mindful of its uses (admittedly I would have forgot about the Arcane Vortex usage during such an interaction as Flashing Blade, had that happened. Luckily ive noted this for the future.)

Final Thoughts for this entry…

I remember driving home feeling mentally drained. Upset with many decisions I made, and even more upset by not having any sense of a plan mid-way through the match. Early on I felt like I was making good solid calls. During turn three(?) I fell apart and let it dictate the way I thought and felt inside for the remaining part of the game.

Im happy with how I played the Twilight Sisters, and used Manifest Destiny. Also satisfied that I saw the Abyssal Gate play, even if I did choose against using it. I would have liked to have pushed up the board more, but Butcher kept me at bay. His ability to run up the board and have is way is extremely intimidating. Not a great win, or even a fun win, but I learned a few lessons and identified more issues to work on for the next round and the future.

Thanks again everyone. Id truly love to hear your thoughts, constructive criticism, or opinions on this or anything else on my page. Take care and until next time!

-Nick

 

Off the beaten Path: Competitive Play & You

Why playing competitively might just be the best choice out there…

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Preface:

So just like with any would be ‘Journey,’ at times it’s appropriate to wander off and explore. Battle Reports can still be found in my ‘Grym Journey’ postings as they arise, while the introduction of “Off the beaten Path” will accompany those reports by covering random topics and other curiosities Warmachine/Hordes related.

Now lets take a few steps.. ‘Off the beaten Path:’

I frequent the Facebook pages regarding Warmachine & Hordes content. All walks of life and all walks of players are to be had there. Well those connected to social media anyways. One unifying theme we all share is a passion to some extent for this game. Be it painting, lore, strategy, or the likes. We are in it together.

One specific aspect, from MY perspective that not all the community agrees on is playing competitively. I’d like to talk a little about this phenomenon and share my opinions on why you should, if you don’t already.

Competitive Play, as I define it goes as follows: Following Rules & game formats introduced by Privateer Press and Steamroller 2017 regulations.

This means playing on a surface that follows proper measurements, scenario & terrain rules. It also includes playing on a deathclock (by which any smartphone can do if you don’t have access to clock,) and using the official rules to play the game and help clarify questions that might arise during your play.

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This does not include being rude, deceitful, harsh & unfair, unfriendly/unwelcoming and just about any other argument you can’t think of as to why you shouldn’t play competitively.

So why does it seem that I’m coming in heroically to the aid of competitive play? Why promote it as the standard way, in attempts to sway casuals? Honestly? A few reasons.

Some of you are going to argue here with me, but please try and keep an open mind and remember its merely my opinion!

First reason is it promotes clean, clearly outlined play, which reduces confusion and issues. Secondly it promotes you as an individual to learn, play well, and progress. Let’s hit on these reasons, as a few others as to why you should. Then we will dive over to the other side of the table to recognize some arguments against what I’m recommending.

STOP!

Lets recognize for this blogs sake, that throughout this ENTIRE post, the term “competitive” does NOT mean “Play Ruthlessly, turn a cold shoulder to your opponent, and crush any hopes they may have…ensuring they never come back for another game.” What it does mean is: “Be welcoming to a clearly defined game, play smart, by the rules, be friendly, communicate, and lend a helping hand to questions and situations that may arise.” Notice the difference?

Already some of you can agree MY definition of “competitive” is relaxed and more casual right? Why? Because it really, really is. Your going to participate in a game thats timed, has clear rules & structure, and you’ll be able to be as friendly as your heart desires! It might be a little intimidating and nerve racking at first (focus on the basics and dont worry about the big stuff,) but after a few dice have been rolled and interactions exchanged youll begin to notice its not that bad at all….its actually really fun and almost the same as casual play!

If you’ve never played a tournament and your new, I strongly suggest to play in one! Let it be known your new and I assure you if you ask for help, help will be there. Its a pretty awesome crash-course into this hobby! People want others to join in their game. They do not want to exclude anyone. The more people get involved, the longer this “game” will be around. As soon as you begin to exclude people, the sooner youll have less people to play with.

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So those of you whom are against ‘competitive’ play (in Warmachine anyways) are probably afraid of losing, looking bad, playing against a ‘try hard,’ or someone who literally rips/tears the fun out of the experience. Right?

Just like with anything, this is real life. Those people exist out there, and in this game. It wont be difficult to spot them and even easier to cordially avoid them as you play your matches. Maybe you never meet one of them, and maybe you end up playing one. Remember, keep your cool and if the game is manageable, complete it. If it begins to feel like its not fun at all anymore, simply  remove yourself from the situation (concede,) and find someone else who IS helpful. Id venture to guess for every 100 friendly & welcoming players, there is maybe one who you will want to avoid. Thats a small margin, and with those odds, it shouldnt hinder you from wanting to play the game as it was designed….with TONS of fun, memorable battles, & friendships to be forged!

So lets again list why I recommend competitive play:

  • Meet new people & forge long-lasting friendships
  • Engage in clearly defined game play that offers resources to clear up confusion or resolve questions.
  • Ensures you’ll learn the proper rules & gameplay interactions.
  • Hone your skills & improve your strategic reasoning with timed games.
  • Ability to measure your progress as the battle wages, and games are played.
  • Learn from your misjudgments & mishaps by communicating with your opponents, post-game.  Generally 99% of the time, people are more than happy to share were you could have won, or different decisions that could have been made during critical turns.
  • Getting to practice and helping others practice for tournaments.
  • Having fun while engaging in epic battles with unforgettable moments and stories that will never age!

 

With all this said, keep in mind its merely an opinion I wanted to share. I may or may not have made my case, but at any rate you’ve heard my take on it all.

As always, feel free to leave a like, comment, or some feedback! I really want to know what you, the reader think and areas to improve on! Thank you, take care, and may all your battles be mighty & graceful in victory & defeat!

-Nick

 

A Grym Journey: Journal Entry 1

A new beginning, towards something greater.

Preface:

So there comes a time where every person stops. They stop everything, and just “listen.” They look back and reflect…

“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” 

– James Baldwin

Having recently won my first tournament and being now one week into a ‘Weekly Steamroller’ my FLGS is hosting, its time to “listen.”

If you dont already know, im a very new player in a very large (12-20~ active player) meta. Additionally this meta is very friendly and competitive. Being mixed in this as a new player, I want to be as good as anyone else who frequents the Warmachine Tabletops there. This is where I declare officially, that I need to stop, and ‘restart.’ You see, my issue is im more focused on things beyond my control or understanding (for now) instead of learning the basics, and using those  things to my advantage. (Ex.: More focused on what lists just won a tournament that actually knowing what my own models do, trying to link their synergies/combos as an army.)

With that being said, I now would like to introduce you all to ‘A Grym Journey’ which will be all my battle reports and thoughts as they roll out. I hope these ramblings help me learn as an individual and allow me to become familiar with my armies, good/proper techniques, and see growth and progression in this game as time goes on…in addition to being a nice read for you all.

So officially, on to Journal Entry #1:

I am apart of the Fresno, CA/Central Valley meta. We host our games at the very welcoming ‘Crazy Squirrel Game Store‘ in town. We as a very active Warmachine/Hordes community host monthly Steamrollers, and now we have revitalized a weekly version which allows for more frequent play and even more friendlier faces who otherwise cannot participate on a would be designated Saturday.

For Week one, I am paired with one of our Circle Orboros players. Blake is a very close friend of mine who has himself won one of our Steamrollers in the past. Blake & I have a similar investment of time in this game (half a year or so,) yet he has a better grasp on this game than I do.

List selection:

I have brought the Dreamer in DM & The Wanderer featured in Bump in the Night, for this weekly steamroller.

Admittedly: I have only played The Wanderer once before, and only have six games played with the Dreamer. When selecting my pairing, I wanted to try out more of the popular casters that seem to be used more frequently in tournaments.

Between these two choices, I know I am facing either Wurmwood or Kaya3. Knowing my opponent hasnt fielded Wurmwood enough to feel fully comfortable with him, I anticipate Kaya3 being played. Having seen six Griffons in Kayas list, I make the assumption that im going to see an assassination attempt from Blake. Wanderer with his Arcana and Star-Crossed can be well protected, in addition to clogging any landing zones nearby with my units. On the other hand, Dreamer with Manifest Destiny and MAT 7 S&M’s can be accurate enough to get past the rather high defense the Griffons carry.

Scenario: Standoff

I recognize the unit zones and while I do have two min-units of Dread Rots, and Twilight sisters with Dreamer, I want to bring Wanderer.  Knowing Wurmwood probably wouldnt be selected, I didnt feel I needed to be worried about Hellmouth. I was more worried about an assassination attempt more than anything at this point. I declare Wanderer as my Warlock, as he chooses Kaya3 as his. This decision of mine would be foreshadowing for the game ahead.


Lists & Arcana:

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Arcana Chosen:  Fortunes Path & Shadow

I reason out Fortunes path hoping for it to have some significance in allowing for more successful attacks against DEF 15 Griffons (17 under FEAT.) Additionally with the amount of Units, and wanting to have the Wanderer nearby (CMD 8), I like the idea of Shadow.


Dice are rolled and I win, 5 to a 3 (2+1, due to his theme benefits.) I feel more comfortable choosing a more favorable side allowing me to unbox, rather than be trapped or limited by terrain. (The lack of pathfinder, really messes with me.) I opt to choose sides.

Deployment:

My opponent squares up pretty evenly, with stones to my right. I decide to place Hollowmen towards the center and flank hard on each side with the Dread Rots. I place Longfellow and Eilish to be near the wall on Turn one. My reasoning on this specific deployment is to have both units of Hollowmen nearby to shut down approaching Griffons and put pressure on the Circle zones, early.

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Turn One:

Circle – Stones port behind the small shack on my right, and he runs the majority of his models up (mindful of my threat ranges, including apparition.) Kaya tosses out Soothing song & Synergy and takes refuge in a cloud put out by the Bellows Crew.

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Grymkin – I measure out ranges and notice three of my Right Hollowmen unit can reach into two different griffons. I make the decision to toss three missed shots into them. At this moment I feel ive made a statement of “im not afraid to take chances.”

Looking back, the decision to shoot was very poor on my part. Rolling 10’s to hit and thinking it could happen was very naive of me, and just gave him more open ground to approach up into the next turn.

Wanderer tosses up ‘Star-Crossed’ and advances. Everything else runs up, placing a few unit models up ahead, to draw the line. Road markers are placed in various spots, including to my right (I want to favor that side now,) and I pass turn.

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Turn Two:

Circle – Blackclad on my left advances and tosses a Hunters-Mark on my most forward Hollowmen. Able to charge for free, a Griffon on my left charges the marked model and kills it, triggering Synergy to 1. Another Griffon advances up the middle. Kaya activates and advances up to extend her Synergy range. The last Griffon on my left charges in and misses two of his three initials then kills of two to clear up some room in front of him to reposition. Synergy to 2. Gobbers lay down another cloud, and the remaining griffons shuffle up tossing up their animus, Elusive. Turn passes.

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At this point its very clear to me he intends to block me out of his back zone so he can score uncontested for the remainder of the game. In addition, he again is taking advantage of the tabletop space ive left available and has control of over 60% of the board.

Grymkin – Wanderer hops to the right marker at the start of my turn. I want to send my S&M up to take out the two center Griffons this turn, and hopefully remove a total of four with some lucky hits (being careful not to trigger his animus.) I clear a path out for the S&M,  make some preparations. Wanderer activates and I boost a Lantern’s Light into the Griffon to the right of my objective, hitting it and ultimately making it an easier target for my S&M. I send in my S&M and without much work, he removes the griffon who got Beacon’d/Flared by the Wanderer. Unfortunately he was unable to remove the second griffon (boosted attacks, but subpar damage rolls.) On my right, I eventually kill off one of the two griffons but it takes my Witchwood, Longfellow w/ puppet strings from Eilish, and a CRA from the Hollowmen to do so. The remaining takes some damage but not enough to be relevant.

At this point I decide to do something unorthodox and it doesnt pan out (while it could have worked, it failed miserably due to rushed/bad planning.) This is definitely the mistake that makes it much easier for the events of the next turn to become a reality.

I realize after some measuring, I have enough distance to get fully behind the griffons on my left and could (with some sheer luck,) hurt them. I order my Dread Rots on the left to press forward and position several behind the griffons attempting to box them in, so they could not escape with their animus during my turn.

It seemed pretty unpredictable when it first popped into my head, and I didnt consider that if it failed, he could easily escape with Kayas feat the next turn. A poor choice to even consider, looking back.

The first of five charges on the first griffon misses and he dodges to freedom, able to use flight and having just enough room to clear the would be blockers behind him. I begin to show my emotions at this point. Im very frustrated with myself as any reality of me being able to see a win, is fading. The Hollowmen unit on my left get a similar order and the same happens, again to bad positioning and to an obviously non-thought out strategy. I step back and make sure the remaining models I have not activated, block landing areas and get into zones. Passing turn, Circle goes 1-0 on CP.

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Turn Three: 

Circle – My opponent looks at the board for a few minutes. He then acknowledges me and informs me that he is going to try and win on scenario this turn. I dont see it. No doubting him, but simply I am not knowledgeable enough (clearly) to recognize it.

Another ten minutes in invested in measurements and him talking things through to himself and I. He has about twenty odd minutes left to execute his plan.

Gorax walks and Primals the Warpwolf on my right. The Wayfarer that was next to the stones behind the shack emerges and hits his Hunters-Mark on a Dread Rot. (While feated, I now know that this will allow for the Primaled Warpwolf to charge in for free, giving it reach to the majority on that side.)

Next, the Wild Argus approaches on my left and uses Doppler Bark on the Hollowmen near the house. This raises Synergy to one after it also removes two from that unit. Kaya then activates and applies primal to the second Warpwolf which is on my left. She positions on the right side of the house to extend the range of Synergy this turn and gets in range/view of the Griffon next to my S&M to land Primal on it, FEATS,  then repositions away. The two griffons on my left advance and position themselves to remove the contesting Dread Rots in that zone, & despite a few tough rolls they do so. Synergy to Three.

The Primaled Warpwolf on my left charges a Hollowman effected by Doppler Bark and kills it dead. This triggers a chain of successful berserk attacks to create an uncontested zone for my opponent, on my left. The Bellows Crew runs over to capture that zone. The Wayfarer on my left advances and is in range to land a Hunters-Mark on my objective.

Next is to clear up my right zone. Blake Charges in the second Primaled Warpwolf at the Dread Rot that earlier this turn received Hunter’s-Mark. A similar chain of Berserk & purchased attacks clear out my Witchwood, Gorehound, & nearby Rots. Reposition is utilized and…

My opponent has successfully executed his plan precisely up to this point. Nearly flawlessly might I note. It is at the end of this Reposition I opt to use my Shadow Arcana. Major mistake. I chose to place in near Kaya. Giving the turn back to my opponent, THIS is when I realize I handed the game to him even more, without even a sliver of hope to rebuttal remaining. Why? He still needed to advance his Griffon already in my right zone which is well within 8″ of Wanderer and Warrior Models (Smaller Bases) to clear the remaining contestants. Had I not been tunnel visioned and instead been observing what else still had to move, I could at the very least earned myself one additional turn for a last ditch effort..by placing the Shadow somewhere in the Zone to contest.

I mis-time/mis-use/mis-place my Shadow Arcana. Any glimmer of hope is gone 100% at this point and im even more frustrated with myself, which is obvious to Blake. The final nail in the coffin is placed & hit on the head. The front & center Griffon next to my S&M Charges my objective (Hunters-Marked) and one shots it (Primal+Synergy) and the turn is passed. Circle reach 5-0 CP and the game ends with hand shakes exchanged.

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Note: My Shadow’s location was to the left of my Dread Rot, in front of Kaya, for Reference. (Not Shown in this photo.)

 

Post-Game Thoughts:

Talking things out with Blake afterwards I apologized for any emotions I showed and we went over my mistakes. First, was bringing the Wanderer. He fully expected Dreamer, and I fully expected an assassination. I saw Griffons and mistook Blakes list for previous matches with Una2. This is why I had “must avoid assassination” in my head. While Kaya3 is fully capable of it, this was NOT his game plan coming into the match. Secondly I feel bunching up my units on the left in attempts of boxing in his Griffons was also a terrible decision. It just made is easier for his beasts to eliminate everything. Thirdly was the mis-timing and ultimately mis-placement of my Shadow to do a last ditch effort contention.

We talked out what would have happened if I had contested with my Arcana, and we agreed that with good dice rolls, Kaya3 camping 3 Fury was killable (yet not guaranteed) had the game gone one more turn.

Final Thoughts for this entry…

I need to take more time making more safer decisions. I was trying to pace the first two turns with my opponent (knowing I would take more time moving my models than he would.) Moving forward I want to make more logical decisions during list selections, and game executions. Even if I time myself, I feel that in the long run…getting 2-3 solid turns in then losing to time, would be more valuable than careless game play. Lastly, while its not an issue (that im aware of,) I do want to work on curbing my emotions. Casual or in Tournament settings, losing isnt fully enjoyable and it can definitely irk even the best of us.

Speaking of that, Jaden Wind Iwaasa (of Druid’s Dice,) & the Line of Sight Podcast crew recently came out with a very informative episode that goes over emotional responses in gaming. Check it out here: Emotional Response in Gaming I personally feel it can be a ‘game changer’ in its own right, with helpful advice and perspectives from the cast & guest Tim Banky!

Thanks again everyone. Id truly love to hear your thoughts, constructive criticism, or opinions on this or anything else on my page. Take care and until next time!

-Nick

A dive down into the Crabbit hole…

Dear diary, I really need more practice….

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So here I am, just having won my very first tournament. While I was super excited, I tried to be extremely humble. I didnt want to take away from today’s hard fought battles that people participated in.

This was a major turn around, for me. Lately I havnt been able to practice and when I did it seemed as I had forgotten what my models did and I was regressing with my knowledge of the game…

For this Report….first off, I want you to know that I have in TOTAL played this faction less times than I have fingers & toes. Im six months into this hobby (no previous relative experience,) and in total have yet to play a total of 100 games (yet who the heck is counting!?) So that sorta gives you an idea for the mistakes and cringe worthy content coming up, nice and warm!

So I decided to start some battle reports. Mostly to help me as an individual as Im hoping to try and learn what other casters and models do outside my own (which I still struggle to remember what does what.) The following is literally a newbie trying to learn and you’ll understand as you read it, hah. Okay, okay…in advance THANK YOU for taking the time to visit and poke around. If you have any constructive criticism or want to correct something PLEASE reach out! Otherwise leave a comment and let me know what you liked! On with the show….er…ya, the reports!

Crazy Squirrel Game Store of Fresno, CA is home to my local meta & today’s (10.14.17) Monthly Steamroller.

My Lists:

Pairing 10.14.17

Starting off with the Dreamer, this is inspired by the thoughts and well refined battle reports being produced by a certain individual out in the Grymkin/Warmachine community. He that shall not be named (because I dont have his consent, and respect him) provides some amazing information and content! Seriously, if you dont know who im talking about just search for Grymkin Battle reports on google! Getting back to it, I like the idea of two potential Arcane Vortexes & Arc Nodes with some serious beef to transfer to if I get myself in a bad situation. Armor 21 near a Death Knell is nothing to snicker at, either. With the introduction of SR 2017, having flexibility for scenario is a good key to success! I feel the two units of Dread Rots can buy time, contest well, or jam/screen flanks and help force the attention of opponent elsewhere. The sisters are a neat little unit and RFP aside can help a tar pit, well…keep on taring things up with Grim Returns or a few little cheeky things with death rattle/heal! P.S. Dreamers spell list is also clutch….when/if you remember to use them…. (OH! Who DOESNT love those cute and cuddly Phantasms!? I guess I didnt…forgot to place even one the entire event!)

The Child list is pretty cut and dry. Heavy on the beasts, and something I would drop if I faced a Jack/Beast heavy option I felt id play against. I like having five free solos plus the min unit of Dread Rots to assist in corpse generation and the occasional distraction/jamming. I knew this would be a niche list going into a meta that traditionally loves Beasts/Jacks/Colossal’s so it was there just for that.

Playing double Dark Menagerie I felt it could be a really bad idea, yet with the units that Dreamer has accompanying her, it helped soothe some concerns I had about being able to deal with Unit Spam/Ambush.

Game One: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…

My Opponent for the First round is Luis. We helped introduce each other to our very first Faction Mirror Match! I dont know why, but I was terrified of this matchup. Not in the sense of wanting avoid it, but more along the line of him knowing exactly what I might want to do on any given turn. First off, Luis’s army puts mine to shame. You may have seen his gorgeously painted models online already, and if you havnt…these photos will not do them justice!

We select our lists. I want to give Dreamer a go and like the help of the units to screen my heavies, need be. Luis introduces me to his Heretic list in Dark Menagerie. I feel a little weight off my chest as I believe I can handle things a little better with it, compared to the Child’s List.

P.S. Note, I made a very major mistake that is 100% cringe-worthy and we were able to resolve. So if you spot it early on, itll be addressed further down below. Also, CP counting is very unclear as I didn’t document it properly for the report, so dont get hung up on the math too much. 

Turn One:  

Team Heretic goes first. Standard issue of running all the things up takes place. Fury is lobbed on a Skin & Moans and he adds a wall of fire near the would be path of my Dread Rots for good measure. Pass Turn.

I Run everything up carefully measuring the threat ranges of his Skin & Moans. I place Mirage on one of my Skin & Moans hoping he can benefit from this extension next turn. Im nervous and want to remove one of his beasts quickly, as he has five, to my four. I also decide to place an Artifice of Deviation in front of his beasts on the hill, to hopefully have the added rough terrain benefit me as we approach each other.

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Turn Two: 

He decides to avoid the rough terrain, and place his models in the clearings around it. He places one of his Skin & Moans (S&M) 10 inches away from my most forward S&M which at this point does have Mirage. At this point we point out the annoying contesting game the Gremlins are going to play throughout this matchup if they do nothing else. Wraithbane is put on a gorehound which approaches the Gremlin in the forest. After boosting to hit, it remains in play with one health. Pass Turn.

The first order of business to upkeep Mirage. This is when my opponent realizes (as well as I,) that I can get the alpha. I make the decision to do so, although I cannot enrage him due to Karianna being boxed in too far. Unboxing her might (actually will,) trigger Labyrinth, making things more difficult for me. I Send in Skin & Moans and unfortunately leave him on two boxes after missing one of my purchased attacks. Farewell my sweet prince! (To be fair, at this point im okay with losing him, as now its a distraction piece.) Labyrinth is activated to prevent me from pushing up the line any further than it needs to be. I shuffle things around as much as I could. I decide to make a bold move…

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I run my ‘little Gremlin Swam that could’ (the one with one health left,) deep into the backfield but close enough to contest his flag. My Dread Rots clutter the middle up in hopes of preventing his beasts from reaching potential high value targets. Additionally I run to jam his Gorehound that was approaching deep on my left. His neatly painted Gremlin nearby is approached by my Cage Rager. A this point I activate Dreamer to Arc a boosted Abyssal Gate into it. I boost for damage (totally forgetting at this point about future sight, although remember later this match.) I walk her up and she goes to the dark side, via incorporeal..sitting on zero camp. Passing turn, CP goes 2-0 in my favor.

Turn Three: 

He shuffles around trying to kill my Gremlin in the backfield after he successfully passes a threshold check. We both dont realize that the Cage Rages come equipped with magical weapons and so it takes both ragers to finally remove the hard to hit Gremlin. (This was a bold move that paid off as it distracted two heavies.) We make some adjustments to fury once this (magical weapons) is noticed and move on. The Gorehound on my right charges my Crabbit and is able to disable it. Around this time I realize im winning by a significant amount on the ‘deathclock race’ (im ahead of him by 12~ minutes.) I decide that this might be the best time to pop ‘All fall down,’ and do so knocking down the “too close for comfort,” Gorehound. ***I ask if I can pause the clock. I notice ive made an embarrassing and grave mistake. I point out ive been playing up an extra Skin & Moans, as I confused having three on the field, with my Child List. I tell him that Id like to concede unless he believes the one behind the house (that has  just sat there,) has not had any impact or influence on the game. If so, with his agreement we can remove it and continue. Luis tells me that up until this point it has had no influence and is fine with it being removed so we can continue this rather exciting (for us,) matchup. I probably apologize another half a dozen times and we un-pause*** Dread Rots clutter the middle. He wants to draw the line, and advances a Skin & Moans to collect some corpses before it falls down to my arcana. The battered Skin and Moans heals to a fully operational state and kindly ejects my Skin & moans from the game. He falls down, too post this ejection.  Pass Turn. CP rises to 3-2.

I really dont want that bruised up Skin & Moans of his to heal by killing off his over-extended (and knocked down,) S&M first. I can only commit a Cage Rager to that one, but with it being knocked down I feel like I can do it. My S&M charges his battered one, and im able to take its corpse during its charge attack. My second initial is tossed into a nearby Crabbit and misses. His work is done. I send an Enraged Cage Rager into the over-extended S&M and collect another corpse after dice math agrees. Reckoning is Triggered onto Cage Rager by my opponent (After writing this im informed it cant trigger off a Beast, so note that for your games.)  I activate my Dread Rots running them to screen the my Rager. Death Knell moves up a bit. Dreamer is Activated and Arcs an Enfeeble onto his Dread Rots in the center (hoping to lessen his Reckoning turn, coming up.) She also drops an Artifice of Deviation down, because why not? My second Cage Rager turns around to poke at the Gorehound who triggered my Arcana. Boosting both initials, he is left on three health, although beat back has removed him from the zone. I decide to leave him be. Bad Puppy. Passing turn, CP rises to 5-3.

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Late Game (My notes became unclear, but Ill try and sum up the ending):

He cleans up shop on the Dread Rots to the left allowing him to gain a point when he eventually passes. He also removes a few in the middle again. His Cage Rager advances towards my now contesting Gremlin but cannot reach him quite yet. His rots decide to make some more jam (Jelly!?) and does a little bit of work to boot.  Passing turn, Points go to 7-4, Team Dreamer! Im able to kill a few more pieces and eventually win by scenario with a CP of 9-4.

Luis and his gorgeously painted army brought the pain…and boy did it hurt. We both learned a ton and agreed that it was super fun to have to play against each other (finally.) Again big thanks to him for allowing the game to continue and bringing his A-Game. We walked away both winners from that table in more ways than one!

Game Two: Oink, Oink, said the litl…err big piggy!?

Im tossed into my second round with almost no break as the first was down to the wire in time (we both had less than 7 or so minutes left.) Matt is my opponent and during list selection he asks me to say hello to Lord Carver and his minions. I felt that Dreamer was again the better choice as he was bringing ambush in this list and had he dropped it, Child (I felt,) was more vulnerable. (He did drop it, so it was the correct choice in my inexperienced opinion.) I was super nervous having never played Matt, and respected his experience and passion for playing Minions. Notes again are limited this match. (Photos will be from random points, too.)

Early/Mid Game:

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We both run everything up and about. His list can if it wants pick me apart from ranged and punish me for only bringing two Crabbits. His Scouts quickly prove that as they do some decent damage to precise spirit columns on my S&M. Thats gonna be trouble for me. My Gremlins are making a line straight for his Battle Engine and force it to run away for a turn, which im totally okay with. Two Free guys making a BE “lose” a turn is already a victory in my book. He has flamethrowers and uses them a bit to his advantage here and there. Two Road hogs on my right eventually are breathing down the neck of my beasts. I end up using Abyssal Gate and crack armor on one of them to place him turned away and further back. A stationary shot is met with the Second hog (which since writing this have been informed could not work on a beast. Please note for future games!)IMG_0135

Late Game: 

The Gremlin Swarm on the right, next to my flag was racking up CP, Fast. Like really fast. Although my opponent was removing models faster (it felt.) The game turned into a turtle up and to see how long I outlast this “shooting fish in a barrel,” slaughter. I didnt have a game plan and felt that overall I couldnt do much. I anticipated his ambush from the right and set Dread rots on that side to take the blunt of it. He eventually ambushed my left, and with the workings of his units was able to clear everything on that side. I near the end, jammed any entry to my flag with my Death Knell, and hid an incorporeal dream behind it, out of sight and went to a CP of 3-0.  He eventually moved in a solo (that I cant name,) to his flag that was on my left harassing my Gremlins with his magical weapon. By that point I was already contesting said flag with one of the remaining two on my left that was hiding in nearby rubble. Passing back to me I went to 4-0, then passed back for a win via Scenario.

Matt was clearly removing each model and any glimmer of hope I had with precision and grace. He noted he had forgotten that I was contesting his flag. Had he been able to contest or score a point, my secondary win object was time. He was at three and a half to my twelve or so minutes when the game ended. It was possible to draw the game out I believe.

I sat in a corner and tried to relax. Matt brought a very overwhelming list that I wasnt remotely prepared for and I was punished for it. His error was probably ambushing the S&M and remaining rots of my left rather than coming in from the right to contest my flag. Either way, Matt played a fantastic game and it only reminded me of how unprepared I really was.

This places me, after a few drops straight into the finals table. Ive never been to a finals table, and have only ever placed second or third due to some luck and high amounts of CP. Realizing im playing into Retribution, im already cracking jokes about how im okay with Second place. (Im SUPER nervous. Like SUPER nervous!)

Game Three: These angry elves dont wear sweaters!

I pair up with Danny. He regularly plays with my round one opponent, Luis. So I already know he has decent knowledge of the general models ill be fielding. I unfortunately dont have the similar knowledge of his. Danny chooses Issyria. I again feel super comfortable bringing…..

You guess it, Dreamer! I really like the units I have at my disposal and feel it will help me on this scenario, by adding pressure and allowing me to score. Allegedly….

*Note, Photos are of random moments*

Early Game:

I weigh my Dread Rots to the opposite side of his Hyperion and toss the Sisters behind the water, hoping they will be involved somehow.

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Turn One:

We run both run everything up, and I place a AoD near his Caster/in front of Hemera after moving things up.

Turn Two:

Arcanists fuel up Hemera with Focus and advances close enough to the Gremlin, and ‘presses delete.’ He Repo’s away. Hyperion is also loaded with Focus by remaining Arcanist. Sylys advanced and boosts the next offensive spell for Issyria. Hyperion capitalizes on three things this turn. First, he targets my Painted S&M on the right thats not completely in the forest. Secondly ive made that grave mistake of not having one of my two (thats the third mistake, not enough Crabbits!) Crabbits close enough to help my S&M out. (Note, I have chosen Stockpile for my Objective this game.) My skin & moans is riddled down by shots, leaving it all but dead. (Insert Sad Panda Face here!) Inviolable Resolve goes on the sentinels to the left of me. The Dread Rots in the center are hit with Blinding Light. An ancillary shot is triggered on Hyperion which drops the already injured S&M to three health. Sentinels on my left inch up just outside my threat ranges. Danny Passes.

I want to point out at this point, Danny passes with 34 minutes remaining. He took the time to scalpel out the mis-positioned S&M that somehow weathered the storm. I realize im going to have a BAD time, which honestly goes back to me joking about second place before we played. I know this is a hard match up. Really hard. I Recognize that my win objectives are either scenario or time. I decide to play towards both.

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I heal the crippled S&M two points with my objective and move him back. I also move my Cage Rager out of harms way as he is well within the threat of the now advanced Sentinels in front of him. I position my Death Knell up a bit while at the same that I decide that for a change (compared to every other Grymkin game ive played outside this tournament,) I need to just push everything else up. I advance into the fray, spacing things out well (as Danny will compliment next turn.) Passing, im able to gain 1CP for Team Dreamer!

Turn Three: 

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Danny invests time measuring and compliments my spacing of units. After some time he decides to “go for it, too” and sends his Sentinels on the left in as they Mini-Feat. Its about this time I realize ill be able to trigger Sacrifice that I had chosen (in addition to Labyrinth,) to heal my S&M back up to full. Danny kills off some Dread Rots including one I trigger Sacrifice With. Sylys prevents magic spells this round, and then my S&M thats up the middle gets blinded. An ancillary shot is triggered and I decide I should Shield Guard it. It easily kills my Crabbit and the AoE nips my sisters for one point each. Arcanists load Hyperion with Focus. Hemera moves back, into the Rubble then takes a shot into the now blinded S&M. He Crits & Dispells Mirage off, that I had place on it earlier (forgot to note above, as I also hid Dreamer in an AoD, too.) Hyperion activates and wants to probably kill the blinded S&M, but manages to miss two shots. The house is blocking sight to his left arm/side. (Note, since writing ive been told he should have had vision, regardless.) He pop shots a Rot or two then the Sentinels on my right just run up towards my Cage Rager. He passes. CP goes 2-1. He passes with 15 minutes of his time left.

Both units of Dread Rots decide to jam, and I misplace one of them (more on that in a second.) Im able to remove the Soulless Escort on the left and a Sentinel or two. Sisters come into the just of things and I remove two Sentinels with one Death Rattle. Neat! Back to the misplay, I block a landing zone/lane to Hyperion in which the non-blinded S&M could otherwise reach at P&S 21. I Instead charge his objective and one shot it. I figure at this point its another target to deal with…and it gets me more on his side of the board, keeping him on his side. Pass Turn, CP count goes to 4-2.

Turn Four:

He cleans up some Dread Rots. Next he decides to blind the engaged S&M, and rolls exactly what he needs to successfully hit (great gamble/shot!) Sentinels activate to charge my S&M, and do so gaining the backstrike bonus. Doesnt take much to ask the S&M to politely leave the game. The sentinels on the right mini-feat, and he is able to have two of them reach my objective and one on the DK. Two remove the Objective allowing him to score one CP. My DK takes six damage. Hyperion positions close enough to the gremlin on the right and misses it entirely. He passes turn, and CP is now 4-3.

I now have sentinels near my beasts and caster. Too close for comfort. I use S&M and my Cage Rager to mop up about seven total. One is left toeing the zone. I decide to walk dreamer up around the forest to see it and Gate it off. Im able to. Im also able to leave her totally exposed to seven sentinels and a nearby Hemera. NOT COOL DUDE. Im camping four after my grave mistake and im unable to gain incorporeal as I had the turn before (fearing ranged attacks.) So….im able to block a landing zone for Hemera with a nearby Gremlin Swarm and start kicking myself as I pass turn. CP changes to 5-3.

The Ending…

Danny begins his turn with about three and a half minutes left. He tries to soften me up with blind, arc’d off the Hemera that walked up and it works. DEF 13, Armor 16 Dreamer on Four fury camp, ready to accept a beating! I take a shot from Hyperion first and Shield guard it. The other Crabbit dies. I next, take a nice chunk again, and this time transfer it.  He times himself just as the Sentinels from both units that can reach her, get ready to do so. CP Rises to 6-4.

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Danny essentially read every move I made well. He was unfamiliar with dreamer yet otherwise punished my over extensions and rendered any other plan I could have come up with, useless. Retribution in general isnt a fun match (according to he who wont be named yet,) and going against a very experienced player like Danny makes things that much more difficult.

Looking Back:

I felt I played into every match at a deficit. My opponents brought with them, game plans and executed them efficiently..while I had none. I remember each turn only being able to ask myself silently what the win conditions were, and kept moving towards them, even though I was far from confident/comfortable. I have a TON of learning to do. Moving forward id like to work towards converting those deficits into more of 50/50 games somehow. It will take work, and a better understanding of my models (and theirs) to do so.

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Additionally I plan to make Battle Reports on the regular. For those I need better timed photos that actually line up with the turns rather than random times, and Document CP gaining and turns more accurately. I was very nervous still being new to this faction, playing a new list, and trying to remember what my faction models did. Also if you read this far..WOW. So much detail, I need to learn to cut the fat.

Anyhow..lets get outta here! Thanks all. Its truly appreciated! Let me know what you liked, and what I can improve on! Until next time!

-Nick

 

 

Fluffy, soft, and yet durable..

Review: ‘Game Plus Products – Gaming Bag’

Hey, hey! Its that time again! A moment to give credit where credit is due! Where might it go this time, you ask? An affordable and practical gaming/storage option for Warmachine/Hordes (Grymkin being this example!)

DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked to write this review, nor am I affiliated with any parties mentioned, nor have I been paid to create this post. I simply want to share the knowledge and my opinions as there was little available regarding this product.

Insert ‘Game Plus Products’ and their Gaming Bag distributed by Minituremarket.com Now, I know what the average player is thinking… “why not the other guys foam?” I’m trying to give a review from the affordable approach, that will work just as good as some ‘battle’ tested products out there. Also consider that Grymkin owners are either new to the game and have a larger buy-in or might be getting into them as a secondary faction. Either way, let’s move along with the show!

A quick TL;DR for those who will benefit from it. Yes, this Gaming bag and the associated Pluck Foam Tray(s) are totally worth it. DON’T forget to read the captions below the photos at the end for extra information before you buy! For the price, it cannot be beat!

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Game Plus Products – Gaming Bag (Dimensions: Size: 13″ x 18″ x 7.5″)

 

Taken from Minituremarkets website directly, “Features: 6.25″ x 9″ x 2″ Velcro Side Pocket. 13″ x 10″ x 2″ Velcro Front Pocket. 12.5″ x 12″ x 2″ Zippered Back Panel Pocket. Side Mesh Water Bottle Holder with Pull Cord. Thick Foam Interior Padding. 3-sided Zipper. Adjustable Shoulder Strap: 48″ x 1.5″. Clear ID Window: 4″ x 2.5″. Holds 14.5 inches of Foam Trays. Tray dimensions: 7.5″ x 13″.”

The bag itself is ordered empty/separate from the foam(s) themselves for an MSRP of $39.99 + tax. It can be had in an array of colors, most bright and easy to identify among the other bags during your tournament of choice. Keep in mind most colors will attract marks/grime easily, hence my decision of black (I really wanted Blue or Green!)

 

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Plenty of room for accessories and the beverage pocket on the opposite side (not shown,) can easily hold my pick of Nalgene bottles! (Note: The padded & adjustable shoulder strap for easy carry.)

So the bag itself…well its a bag. Lightly padded, not enough to stop a direct blow from a baseball bat or a angry opponent (kidding,) but enough to keep its form and resist normal bumps during regular transport. Craftsmanship is what you would expect for the price. Seams seem rugged enough to resist normal use and the materials used keep cost down all while making the satisfactory ‘cut’ to accept the charges and resist the test of time. I can easily see this bag lasting me several years.

Lets move on to the real reason your here….FOAM! Fluffy, Soft..yet surprisingly durable foam! (MSRP of $7.99 + tax, per Pluck foam Tray) Let me show you a loaded version with room for an extra tray (1.5″, being taken up by my storage box you’ll see.)

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Six Trays, with obvious room for seven! (While the official description read 14.5″ of foam, the reality is itll fit 15.5″ of foam..woohoo!)

 

During a recent sale, I bought two cases and enough foam to fit it all. (Should indicate the next sale wont be until the November shopping kick-off post Thanksgiving…good for some, for others your not saving too much!)

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With “MY” layout choice for the 15.5″ of foam trays, I choose not to haul the last 1.5″ Pluck Foam Tray. (I have no need for it as of yet.) In its place is a nice Plano StowAway Utility Box full of Dice/Widgets/Tokens!

The Foam Trays are made of pre-cut pluck foam, available in various sizes. The foam is cut very well, so no blade/knife will be needed unlike other brands/options available on the market. Its easy to remove what you dont need…and easier to pull a little extra if your going quick. I recommend a little spray adhesive ala Elmer’s Spray Adhesive (I used this as I had it handy, works great and did the trick for mispulls or rearrangement of foam/spacing issues. Be sure to see my extra photos at the bottom for some ideas regarding the spray!)

The Trays overall have a soft yet defined feel to them. Additionally the red baseboard foam creates a wonderful sturdy foundation for the models you will fit in each tray. This allows for each access/unloading without fear of the foam buckling to the weight of your models be they resin or metal. These Pluck Foam Trays mean business!

The point is made that this fits a good amount..but how much exactly? Well….I bought into Grymkin. I was easily able to fit the entire “recommended” purchases from the first wave, as follows:

Grymkin Models I own/Shown in this Gaming Bag Review:

  • QTY: 2 – Grymkin: The Wicked Harvest (All-in-One’s)
  • The Child (Warlock)
  • Lady Karianna Rose (Solo)
  • Death Knell (Battle Engine)
  • Glimmer Imp (Solo)
  • QTY: 2 – Cask Imps (Solo) (Blister Pack)
  • QTY: 3 – Crabbits (Lesser Warbeast) (Blister Pack)
  • Skin & Moans (Heavy Warbeast)
  • QTY: 4 – Gremlin Swarms

They all easily fit in the Following Foam Assortment Layout I chose to equip with the allotment of 15.5″ of foam trays the Gaming Bag in mention, holds (as Shown in this review):

  • 4″ Pluck Foam Tray
  • 3″ Pluck Foam Tray
  • 2.5″ Pluck Foam Tray
  • 2″ Pluck Foam Tray
  • QTY: 2 – 1.5″ Pluck Foam Tray(s)

**NOTE: One additional 1.5″ Pluck Foam Tray can/will fit with the sizes mentioned above. I chose not to put it in, due to the abundance of space I still have available until future releases.**

Below, is my “everyday carry…” so to speak which is a solid amount of goodies I carry when im tournament ready! (Even a Nalgene bottle fits in the Beverage slot, not shown!)

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My Gaming bag contents, unloaded. Includes my entire Grymkin inventory, iPad, Rings, Rulers, TWO Battery Banks, Snacks, Physical Cards, Dice Tray, Token/Dice/Widget Box…the works!

Its clear, this gaming bag can hold a good amount! Actually even more if your an organized packer such as I…as it prefers slim/narrow items over bulky options. Talk about storage! Heck, its not even unreasonably heavy when fully loaded. I can still hold it in front of me with one finger!

So we are basically at that point. The run-down has been given and you have a solid idea of what is what regarding this Gaming Bag and the Pluck foam tray options!

Something to note…below my conclusion there will be additional photos of each tray with helpful captions assisting with your purchasing decisions!

CONCLUSION:

I mean…at this point it really speaks for itself. The Bag is great. Has a nice feel to it and you cant really make any complaints for the price-point.

The Pluck Foam Trays come in a variety of sizes which is helpful if you so wish to purchase a few extras for swapping lists out before you head out for a game or two.

The price is on a budget, but not to take away from the quality you gain..essentially you can save some cash and invest in some more models……dinner/entertainment for the “S.O.” since you just invested in ‘another army,’ or keep that pocketbook a little more filled for the time being.

Whatever you choose, this option is uncontested for the price in my humble opinion. Sure there are better options that will ‘battle’ for your cash, but honestly…sometimes keeping things basic is okay. Be it Grymkin or a secondary army/faction…the Gaming Plus Products Gaming Bag & Pluck Foam Trays will do the trick!

PROS:

  • Budget Friendly – Allows for a great entry level solution, or appealing for a secondary faction/army.
  • Pluck Foam Trays feel great, and their sturdy base make for easy/quick access between them.
  • The Gaming bag itself has plenty of room, and is made of solid materials and nice stitching..price considering.
  • Sleek/Slender overall case design allows for easy storage in a closet or in the vehicle during transportation.
  • Less models/accessories, the weight is nearly non-existent.
  • Availability/Shipping is reasonable.
  • Nice oversized/adjustable beverage pouch.

CONS:

  • No handle, less the shoulder strap. At times id rather much carry the case than shoulder it. Personal preference, yes…so time to get a little crafty.
  • Foam is fun/easy to remove…sometimes too easy, so be careful!
  • No Zipper Pulls/Tassels. Nothing a trip to your local Camping Store/Walmart can’t fix!

Thanks for reading. If I missed anything please comment. If you can share some criticism/ideas/knowledge..feel free! If you enjoyed it, tell me so via a comment or like! I appreciate the time you took to read this!

-N.P.

ADDITIONAL PLUCK FOAM TRAY PHOTOS/HELPFUL CAPTIONS:

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3″ Pluck Foam Tray: Room for some larger models to boot!

 

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2.5″ Pluck Foam Tray – Id suggest a little warm water to ‘ween’ the maces/spears of the Piggybacks down a bit. They just miss perfect clearance by an 1/8″

 

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4″ Pluck Foam Tray – Death Knell, Two of Three Skin & Moans, and Two Cage Ragers find their home perfectly. No clearance issues at all. 2″ Pluck Foam Tray – Plenty of room for any number of upcoming units/models. 1.5″ Pluck Foam Trays – A little moving around fits the Hollowmen one tray…and small based models in the other as shown. I actually moved the ‘walls’ a bit in the lower tray, and put them in their new place via Adhesive spray, recommended in the review. No Issues otherwise. **See the un-housed Dread Rots? No worries..obviously I still have plenty of room…AND another Tray not in this Gaming bag, yet…hehe.

Grymkin: A day of updates and “education.”

Why losing isnt a bad thing… *Insert Smiley Face Here*

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Moments before the mighty Trolls concede to the Child….their last warbeast will fall to a “Crabbit who could,” dealing the final blow needing to roll a boosted 16 to kill…when the dice lords provide!

Today was a good day. Axe to face was dealt to the child from Butcher3 moments after he removed two fresh Skin & Moans and an unscathed Cage Rager. Awhile later, the Heretic fails to survive a Banshee from Thyros…oh that sidestep..oh that side step.

Sure, I lost….sure I have less than half a dozen games into Grymkin & the Fury Mechanic…sure I have MUCH to learn. It was fun. Ive seen victory (Caption above,) and ive seen defeat. I have some experience (three months with Cryx prior to Grymkin,) and I play in a fairly competitive meta that is extremely welcoming to new players.

Losing with grace and style is something I personally try for…yet admittedly only hit that mark about half the time. The other half? Ill shamelessly admit (in attempt to improve as a player,) that ive had the mopey/sulky aura across the tabletop…and other times ive shared the frustrated/annoyed attitude. Ive never tilted, but have had some moments where ive been very disappointed with myself and frustrated with the decisions I made on the table…that to my opponent was probably a very “passive” version of a player they probably dont fully embrace playing with. Truth be told, im working hard with this fresh start and new faction to improve on a few things…including the way I express myself across the table.  Now enough about me…back to the point at hand!

So why is this all important? Losing. Thats why. How can it be good? Especially to a novice/newcomer? Ill tell you why…

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Butcher3 charges & “one-shot’s” the objective…about to cast ‘Impending Doom,’ and one round a bunch of models including three untouched heavies! Talk about rough!

As a good friend reaffirmed to me today…this is a simple game of dice. Accepting that variable, and welcoming the taste of repetitive defeat and countless games of ‘education,’ will be the best place to begin your journey.

Why is this discipline and acceptance a good thing? Well..first off, your blood pressure and mental state will be more stable! Secondly, itll be very welcomed from the other side of the table. Thirdly…itll promote a good social practice and (in my experience,) encourage more experienced players to invest the time necessary to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with you.

There are several types of players in this hobby…and by types I mean personalities. There are various write ups capitalizing on the truths and ‘comedy’ of those truths..from the “rager” to the “whiner” and all the ones in between. Yet this topic is about losing, and the correct way to lose.

Accept losses, welcome them. Every loss is an opportunity to learn. Will you walk away from every loss with a lesson learned? No. We are human and sometimes dont see the lessons that are being given to us. Its human nature….its okay to wish you had done better. That shows you want to improve. To be better than where you are. The point I want to make is that your opponent just invested time they can never recoup to play and share an experience with you. Honor that time..respect it. If you lose your cool…address it, recognize it and apologize for it. Your opponent will respect you as an individual and your reputation will flourish within the community. Again..youll be human, and make mistakes..yet being an adult/mature about it will speak leagues about who you are.

Try and remember that your playing a game. You’ve made a decision to get into a hobby to have fun, enjoy yourself and maybe express a little bit of a competitive nature in a great and healthy way! So why not try and have the best outlooks and acceptance of all aspects that come with the hobby? From winning, to losing. From meeting new players, to forging lifelong friendships. Its just a game!

So again…have FUN! Enjoy the times you play…the experiences and all the outcomes! Those EPIC outplays and ‘jank’ moves will come…the moments you have to share with everyone will be created over time…the amazing “you had to be there” memories will be forged, trust me….between now and then, though? Keep your cool. Respect the time you get to play with someone, their investment of time, and remember enjoy the lessons (loses,) you have.

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Talk about a difficult deployment! “Into the breach, these wicked things move forth to…”

Stay fresh my friends…cool headed, and strive to improve not only your game, but the personality you bring to the tabletop and share with your community of wargamers!

(P.S. You know this part…I hope you like this. Leave a ‘like,’ or a comment of criticism. Ill be making another review blog post, similar to the widget one ive done regarding a storage solution option for the Grymkin faction!)

-N.P.