Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sin City Dispatch BattleZone Report: And the winner is...

Hey everyone and welcome to the long overdue announcement of the winners for the first tour of Call To Arms at our local FLGS, BattleZone Comics!

The truly amazing thing is that I actually have a good reason for not posting this sooner! Someone else's camera was used to take pictures of the winners for the event, but they didn't post them on our local gamer forum as I thought they would. Oopsy! Still, I can at least announce the winners so without futher ado let's get to it.

First up, major props to three of the four winners as they are all brand new to the game and in some cases were not able to get very many games in but they still managed to place! Great job guys! Now we'll just have to see if you can defend your titles in Season 2!

First up, we have the old guard of the group, me! I managed to secure the lead in the Relentless category (most models killed in one turn) the first week and never let go! Lucky for me everyone else was still get into the game otherwise I suspect that I would have lost that one easy on.

Next up was Ace, the new Cryx player at the BattleZone! He managed to win the Eliminator category (most warcasters/warlocks killed by a 'jack or beast). I think that most of us forgot about the conditions to win this category but Ace stayed on track and pulled out the win!

Next up was Dyllon's Skorne army with the Strategist category (most games won in four rounds or less). This is even more impressive since Dyllon was on the low end for total number of games played in the League but he still managed to pull it out for the win!

Last but not least, the man of the hour was Pat with the Warlord category (overall winner of the League)! Diving headlong into Hordes, Pat managed spread the good word about the game and was one of the driving forces behind getting the game as popular as it is now. Great job Pat, and thanks for your dedication and hard work in helping get the word out about this game.

Once again, congratulations to all of the winners and I look forward to seeing everyone who took part in the League in the future! That's all for now so until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sin City Dispatch #16: Brothers in arms with the Walking Dead

Hey everyone and welcome to the latest and greatest issue of... the Dispatch!

Mental note: need to get out more...

Where was I? Oh yeah, this issue we are going to be doing the first faction overview in the Intelligence Report. Then we will head over to the parade ground as we Review the Troops, where we will look at what I am now thinking is one of the nastiest units in the game. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Intelligence Report
Taking a Closer Look at...
The Cryx from Prime: Remix

Spreading from their island home like a disease upon the mainland, the walking dead of the Dragon Lord Toruk come. With every battle they add to their ranks, bringing them closer to their goal of conquering the Iron Kingdoms and ultimately destroying the rest of the Dragons.

In a world where the motivations of some factions are portrayed in shades of grey, the Cryx are nothing but black. With the legions of undead, there is no question that they are clearly among the villans of the Warmachine world. Still, enough with the fluff. The real question is how do they play?

The Cryx are unique in the Warmachine universe when it comes to some of their units, at least with regards to Prime (which is my main focus here). They can field some of the fastest units and 'jacks in the game, not to mention the cheapest and in some cases perhaps the most versatile. For infantry units, they have both ends of the spectrum with two of the cheapest and two of the most expensive units in the book. Even so, their cheap units are very effective at what they do and are not to be taken lightly. From a 'jack point of view, Cryx is the faction with the most arc nodes available to them. Equipped with light armor (for a 'jack at least), the Cryx warjacks make up for this by having a high defense and speed.

With spells that focus on weakening and damaging their opponents, the Cryx warcasters are geared toward lightning quick attacks leading up to the final assault on the enemy warcaster. More than any other faction, virtually all the troops in a Cryx army are expendable as they are simply tools for clearing the way for the 'caster to move in for that final kill.

All of these elements come together to create a faction that excels at one thing: assassination. Their troops plow into your army as the arc node equipped bonejacks move into position to channel spells where they are needed most. As this deadly ballet of carnage is playing out, the warcaster is moving forward, getting closer and closer to its final target. Once a path has been cleared, they strike with deadly accuracy.

Their style of play is not for everyone, especially since they have some combinations that you have to puzzle out the most effective uses for. That said, if you enjoy an aggressive play style with some sneaky combos and don't mind losing your entire army in the process, the Cryx might just be for you.

Reviewing the Troops
The Trollkin Champions

Heros of kith and kriel, the Trollkin Champions are the elite melee unit for the Trollbloods. I recently had a chance to field these killing machines against Matt and I think that we were all amazed at just how deadly they can get.

With a base Melee Attack score of 7, the Champions can hit most units in Hordes on average rolls but it is after this that they truly become powerful. For every model in their unit that makes a successful melee attack against, the next Champion gets a +1 to its attack and damage rolls this turn. The first Champion starts at a 7, the next at an 8, the next at a 9... And this does not reset, so if one of the Champions misses, the next one will still receive the same bonus. To make this even more damaging, try fielding them with Madrak and use his Crusher feat. This will allow them to move and make another attack if they destroy their original target, and since this all happens in the same turn, the bonus continues to stack.

As if they weren't "offensive" enough, the Champions are also multi wound models. A regular champion has eight wounds while the leader has ten, plus they are all tough. Their one weakness is the Defense which is only 12... unless they are in base to base contact with another member of their unit, which gives them a +2 but only against melee attacks.

Ringing in at 106 points, they are one of the most expensive units in the game but having seen them in battle, I am more than happy to pay that cost. I'd even pay double, which is handy because they are field allowance two. Ya gotta love Champions!

The Parting Shot

And that wraps up another issue of the Dispatch, but have no fear as there is more on the way! Up next will be another special report as we take a closer look at some of the changes made in Mark II (wait, it costs how much?!?!?) and later this month will be Issue #17: Hardcore Terrain! I am finally getting my gaming room set up and I decided to make some Iron Kingdoms style terrain so I figure I might as well do some step by steps to show how I did it. If you have any comments or questions, I'd love to hear them! You can leave them on the blog or you can email me at sincitydispatch@gmail.com and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sin City Dispatch BattleZone Report: And we are done...

Hey everyone, and welcome to a slightly different issue of the Dispatch since this one is for the local gamers here in fabulous Sin City.

The first tour for the Call to Arms League at BattleZone is officially over so now it is time to figure out just how everyone did. Hopefully by the end of the week all of the score cards will be turned in so that we can figure it all out and distribute the medals to the winners.

I do want to say thanks to everyone that took part in the League since it has been great to see Warmachine/Hordes take off like wildfire locally. There have been lots of questions about just how some of the rules play but overall I think that most everyone has had a great time with the game and I am really looking forward to getting more games in down at BattleZone.

For the next month or so, I know that some of us will be shifting our perspective a little as we try to see just how things have changed for the Mark II version of Warmachine, but the rest of you don't despair! I am sure that there will be people around willing to get in games of Warmachine or Hordes. After the Mark II field test, the next tour of Call to Arms will start but I think that we will be making some changes as far as how we are going to run it, but more on that later.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to post as soon as we figure out every one's standing. Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sin City Dispatch Special Report: Mark II is coming!

Hey everyone and welcome to a special issue of the Dispatch!

The latest issue of No Quarter has finally hit the shelves and it includes an interview with Jason Soles, one of the game designers for Privateer Press. Not too many details were revealed but here are some of the things that caught my attention.

  • Formations will now be centered on the unit leader, meaning that the unit will have to cluster around the leader instead of trailing out in a long line. In addition, the leader stat line is being dropped and it will use the regular stat line instead. All units will also effectively gain the Field Promotion ability. This means that if the leader is killed, one of the regular troopers immediately takes his place and becomes the new unit leader.

  • Out-of-turn movements and attacks have been limited to streamline play.

  • All models are able to charge through rough terrain, though they will suffer the usual movement penalties.

  • A majority of the warjacks will have their MAT and RAT increased, plus most of the power attacks will lose their minus to hit. They will also be more durable as you will no longer be able to disable them, only destroy them.

  • All of the factions will have some kind of mechanic so those 'jacks will stay up and running that much longer.

  • Force creation and the point system have been drastically changed, including the basic aspects of force composition from the sounds of it.

When does all this new goodness come into being? Well, the Mark II field test begins on April 6 with all of the information being made available online. The important thing to note about this is that this is a "field test", not a "play test". PP is releasing this information so that the Warmachine community at large can help iron out the fine details so that when the books finally do come out they will be the best possible.

Speaking of books, the next big question is when will Mark II be officially released? The new Mark II will be released in the beginning of 2010, with the new faction books coming out after that. The good news is that the faction decks should be available about the time that Mark II is released, so people will be able to play with all of their minis without having to wait for their faction book to come out.

And it doesn't end there! After Warmachine Mark II will be Hordes Mark II. This will not be as drastic a change from a rules point of view as most of the rules carry over between both games, but no doubt there will be changes made to the various units as well.

Well, that's it for now but I'm sure there will be another Special Report going up once the field test begins. Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!