Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adepticon Bound!!!

First let me say thank you to Wyrd for the fantastic art that starts out this post. This is from the Gaining Grounds Malifaux Tournament document Wyrd released. If you have not already picked up Malifaux, what are you doing????

So, I am Adepticon bound! I am very excited to be headed back to Adepticon for my second year at the big event. This year I am planning to head out with 3 other friends from my local play group for a good road trip to Chicago. I am also looking forward to meeting up with old friends I have not seen in a while who will be attending as well.

For the local crew, (and a couple notable remote friends), I pulled together some $$ and sprung for a set of Gamers Lounge t-shirts for them to wear. I know, shameless promotion and all, but I think it will be cool to have a whole group of folks there showing their allegiance to the podcast.I will be porting along the recording equipment as well, and I expect to get some decent recording done similar to last year.

Adepticon is, at its core, a gaming convention. With this in mind, what do I have planned for gaming? I have 3 events I am registered for, one each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will close out the weekend with a last big event, the Poker Tournament/Mixer, which I am very much looking forward to. Everything is packed away, so I will not have too many pre-con pictures to share. With that in mind, however, I will talk a bit about what I am bringing.

Friday morning (11am-ish) I will be carting out my Dwarf's and partaking in a sound beating by 4 opponents in the Warhammer Fantasy "It's How you Use it" 1000 point tournament. This is interesting, as I only have 4 WHFB 8th edition games under my belt so far. I think the Dwarf's are pretty straight forward, as I can mostly ignore the magic phase on my turn. Overall, I am honestly just expecting to get in 4 games and have some fun. I will be looking for Equinox and his Dogs of War during the tournament. If we happen to play I have thrown out the challenge that the loser needs to buy the winner drinks that evening. My wallet is prepared!

Friday evening I plan to help out the local Chicago Wyrd Henchman by running Malifaux Demo's and whatever else he needs. Friday night there will also be a informal Q&A with some notable Wyrd Employees, Dave Bowen, Drew, and Zee.  Drew is better known as Wyrd Sketch on the Malifaux forums, and Dave Bowen is one of the fluff and background writers for the game. I am hoping, at some point during the evening or on Saturday, to pull Zee into a Malifaux challenge game.

Saturday I will be back in the action first thing with the morning session of Warhammer 40K Combat Patrol. This beast starts early at 9am, so I will be missing out on a pilgrimage to Lou Mitchels for breakfast. C'est La Vie, onto the beating. I will be bringing a similar list to last years combat patrol to the table, carting out the Dead Tau project for a second year in a row. Even with the possible inclusion of Wave Serpents this year, I opted to stick with last years mix of War Walkers and Dire Avengers. While I expect to do better here than I do in the WHFB tournament, I really am not expecting more than an even win/loss ratio. It will be fun to get some 40K games in, but I am not putting much stock in the games overall.

Combat patrol is due to end at 2pm, which provides a whole lot of time for podcast recording, pick-up games, and socializing. I expect Saturday night to be the core of a party-con atmosphere, similar to last year. I expect I will be easily located near the Hobby Talk HQ guys, and I am looking forward to hanging out with the Phil again this year. Lest I forget, the TEW and Independant Characters crews will be floating around as well, which just adds to the fun.

Sunday is Malifaux day. Up early at 8am, I will be bringing out my Neverborn for 4 rounds of Malifaux goodness in a 35ss tournament. There are already a number of predictions and, dare I say, whinging about expectations that the Dreamer/LCB is going to sweep the tournament. I will say up front, I am bringing the Dreamer/LCB along with Pandora and Lilith. I have the most experience with my Dreamer crew based on previous tournaments. To be fair, I made the decision to use him as a master, and Neverborn as a faction, specifically because I have a fairly expensive, customer sculpted, one of a kind miniature to stand in for Dreamer. I figure there is no better place than Adepticon to pull Max the Dreamer out to play. Now, I will admit that the Dreamer crew is very flexible, and I also think I am a damn good player.

All that being said, I am aiming and hoping for a top 3 finish in the tournament. While only the top 2 places are getting prizes, I will be happy to come in top 3 out of 32 players. Regardless of how I finish, my Neverborn will be headed back to the case for regular play after Adepticon. I have been working on additions for my Guild off and on, and plan to switch back to them after the tournament.

I am really looking forward to the competition at Adepticon. I am expecting the nation-wide draw to bring out a fair number of solid players, and to really give a good look at what the competitive Malifaux landscape is currently like. In addition, this will give me some insight into the best structure for the NOVA Open Malifaux tournament I will be running in August.

Road Trip
My road trip days are Thursday heading out and Monday heading back. I have already started planning our trip out, which is solely based around what cool restaurants we can stop at on the way. We will be headed out via Columbus OH and Indianapolis, looking to stop at some of the Food Network/Travel Channel featured restaurants. I also need to find a Tim Hortons along the way. Around or a bit after Mid-Day I expect we will be stopping in Columus, so if your interested in meeting up with the me and/or some of the Gamers Lounge crew, let us know in the comments here or on the Gamers Lounge site.

Monday, as we start the road trip back, I expect to stop at Lou Mitchells for breakfast before we get on the road. I love this place and my schedule over the weekend looks like it will hamper my desire to stop in. If your in the Chi-Town area and didn't get a chance to meet up with us during the weekend, let me know and I will try and include you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pictures!!! We love those Nightmares.

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for a while can fairly easily guess that I am a completionist. Whats that you ask? Well, it simply means that when I set out to do something I tend to do all of something. When I started the DTP, I bought up all the Eldar I would need to have a "complete" army. When it came to putting together the Nightmares used in the Dreamers crew, the same thought process came through. In previous posts I showcased my 2010 splurge, Max the Dreamer. Recently I completed the rest of the crew and Friday I finally had the chance to take some pictures of them. Now, I will be adding an additional Lilitu to my collection, as I have seen some rare situations where having 2 Lilitu with my Lelu would be nice. Overall, I have a very solid crew of Nightmares to support any of the ways I can dream up to play the Dreamer.

So without dragging on much further, lets start taking some looks at the pictures! First, here is the "Group Picture" that every happy parent puts on their mantle.

Its a fair number of models, and if you notice, Max has taken his center place, replacing the normal Dreamer model. No fear, I painted up the little boy on LCB's shoulder all on his own, but the pictures were washed out and need to be retaken.

So, you have likely been grabbed by the monster in the background. That is an Official Wyrd model, its the Gencon 2010 Nightmare Version release of Lord Chompy Bits. Lets take a closer look. I am very happy with the way he came out, although I spent a fair number of days trying to figure out what colors to use. At some point I should go back and give the extreme bone highlights another wash and highlight to soften the extremeness of the color. Overall, I think it came out pretty good for table top quality. As anyone can see on my tracking spreadsheet, he has seen the table a fair amount!

That very quickly brings us to one of the other nasties in the Nightmare crew. I am speaking of Coppelius, ol' squid face himself. Coppelius was a whole lot of fun to paint, although I decided on purple for his jacket opposed to black. I am very happy with how he came out. In person his skin has a slight greenish tint to it, but only slightly. Its enough to make you look twice and feel something is just off about him.

That brings us to Coppelius's friends, the Alps. Coppelius has the ability to summon Alps during the game, should the circumstances align. When you add this to the fact you can buy Alps straight into the list, I thought I might need a couple Alps come in sets of 3, so I picked up two blisters of them. The challenge was the color choice I went with. I actually had to have my wife come act as my eyes during one point in the painting because I could not differentiate the shades on the model. Everything worked out well as I brought the tan/browns lighter and the green/browns darker. To date I have not been able to get more than 4 onto the board, but I expect it will eventually happen.

That leaves the Stitched togethers bringing up the tail end of the crew. I have not played a whole lot with these boys, but the little bit I know makes them fairly fun. When you consider how much they look like "Oogie Boogie", they are models I really like. I am looking forward to using them more frequently in my lists.

That brings me to a couple other models I have worked on since the beginning of the year and not grabbed pictures of. Many of you who have picked up the Lilith box set know that you also need Young Nephilim for the crew. Tots have an ability which allows them to grow into the Young Nephilim during the game. Along with this, Young Nephilim are fairly good buys for their points. With this in mind, I put together the following two.

That brings me to nearly the close of the recent bout of Neverborn painted up. I have Lilitu primed, and she will be painted fairly quickly. I also have a Doppelganger and a Primordial magic I will be painting up soon as well. That aside, Lucius and Ryle have found their way onto my painting tray. I have a whole Guild crew that just received primer, but Ryle actually received a full paint job this past weekend. To close out this post, here is a picture..

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tournament After Action - Malifaux

Have no fear, my intrepid readers, I did not change over to Lucius at the last moment before playing in the tournament this weekend. I stuck with the Dreamer / Lord Chompy list that I outlined previously. Why did I go with the Lucius puppet then? Well, honestly I just like him. He is one of the pictures in the new Rules Manual that just released from Wyrd Miniatures. On the Rules Manual, we will be discussing it on the next Gamers Lounge podcast, but up front let me just say it rocks. Kudos to the rules developers and kudos to the artists, great work!

So, the outstanding question is how did the tournament go? Let me jump right into that. So, I had sent out some feelers to see if anyone in my local store and club community was interested in car pooling up to this. I like to drive, so it was not for free ride potential, but more for the camaraderie at and after the tournament. It completely blew my mind when not only did we have 8 other people interested in heading up, but only 1 dropped out. For a group of gamers, that's incredible. The 8 of us loaded up the cars and headed an hour north into the state of PA to find Neverland Games and attend the tournament. I can imagine it may be a little overwhelming, as we brought 8 people to up the whole tournament to 12 total.

The store is very nice, and the town is a typical quaint small town, similar to where I live. Overall, very nice. Now, this is also a good time to point people to a couple other blogs that also cover the tournament.
Ok, onto the crazyness. The format of the tournament was 4 rounds, flip for strategy from the core strategies each round, choose your schemes each round. Schemes could not be duplicated through the tournament. This is a challenge scenario in the best of times, since you are then choosing 8 schemes form the list, which gets pretty small when your playing a fixed list tournament. Not every scheme is something every crew can accomplish. On top of that, some schemes can no longer be taken in conjunction with certain strategies. As everyone was getting their models out and ready to play, I had the crazy idea for a side bet. What if a bunch of us chose our schemes blind? Then, we would measure through the tournament who best accomplished their schemes and the loser would buy a round of beer for the winners. Yup, that's what we did. Four of us (Myself, John, Jay, and Chris) all participated in the side bet.  Crazy!!!

With that out of the way, we got our round 1 pairings and we were on our way.

Round 1 - Dreamer vs Nicodem
Round 1 I was paired up with Dan, running Nicodem. This was the match I expected to have the largest challenge with, so I was happy to get it settled turn 1. To be honest, going into the tournament I considered Dan my toughest competition. So, Dan rolled out with:
  • Nicodem +5 Stones
  • 2 vultures
  • 2 Rotten Belles
  • 2 necropunks
  • Bette Noir
  • Convict Gunslinger
 We were on a fairly rocky board, very reminiscent of a badlands or desert setting. In addition, we had the Earthquake special scenario rule in play, which allowed each of us to push the opponents models 1" in a single direction at the start of the turn unless they had float or fly. I flipped Reconnoiter for my strategy (most models in at least 3 quarters of the board at the end) and had pre-chosen Kidnap and Hold out. I looked over Dan's list and decided on both Belle's and the Convict for my kidnap. Dan had slaughter, grudge (lilitu) and kill protege (coppelius)

I started the game with everyone but Chompy on the board in a back corner near the dreamer. The new Rules Manual specifies that no effects clear if the models are buried at the end of the turn. This is great, as not only can the Alp's put up their -1 wp bubbles but Dreamer can make everyone terrifying, then bury them. This way everything comes out terrifying 13 when I drop the nightmare bomb.I proceeded to do this, and Dan moved up the board. I did let Lilitu lure one of the Vultures who came to close, giving a nice snack to her brother Lelu. Not a bad first turn, everything was going well.

Turn 2 had Dan moved forward into a fairly tight little format, which gave me a fair amount of hope. I drifted up the board a bit, staying out of range, and popped the twins out to play around a bit. I was able to lure one of the belles close, but did not get much damage on her. Dan used his other bell to bring the hurt belle back to his lines, keeping his formation tight. This brings us to the infamous turn 3, and a critical fail on the dreamer. I look at my hand going into turn 3 and I am happy. I have 3 masks in my hand so I should have no problems moving up, bringing out Chompy and "all My Freinds" to drop the bomb on Dan. Dreamer moves forward, over extended a bit, and flips his cast. All I needed was a 3 of Masks, which was sitting in my hand to be cheated. Up comes the Black Joker. Hrm, bad things do indeed happen. I stepped back from the table for a moment at that point, as I needed to come up with a strategy to recover. I did not like my chances with just a day dream protecting Dreamer, and I did not think I could do much summoning 2 single models with magical extension. I decided to sacrifice a day dream to bring out my entire crew into his lines. That was a tough call, and certainly set the tone for the game.

At this point Nico kept Coppelius under constant rigamortis, letting Chompy take a dose of his own medicine. Dan's convict cleared off Chompy with some incredible trigger happy flips. I have to admit that its a lot of fun to see good luck and cool actions like that, even if I am on the receiving end of the pain. I was able to clean off the convict and the other belle, gaining my kidnap but it was incredibly hard fought. I ended up with little Max running for the back of the board to hide on the last turn of the game. apparently Dan thought I had bodyguard, but even with that mistake he was out of position to make a break for my hold out. He successfully wiped off everyone but the dreamer, giving him 4 full points for slaughter.

Round 2 - Dreamer vs McMourning
Round 2 saw me rocking up to the table to face off against another member of our group, Bryan. Bryan runs a very ugly McMourning list that utilizes dogs and Datsu Ba to nearly double the size of his crew on the first turn. Basically the dogs fuel his crew with corpse and body part counters for McMounring to summon Frankensteins and Datsu to summon Gaki and Onroyo. This board was setup with building ruins and an impassable castle wall along one side. We flipped shared "Remove the Evidence" as our strategy, and I had pre-selected Grudge, which I chose Sebastian and Breakthrough. His list was:
McMourning +8 stones
Datsu Ba
3 Dogs
Crooked Man

Deployment was pretty much the same, with everyone but Coppelius on the board. A key here was I setup Lilitu approximately 1.5 inches back from the front of my deployment zone. During the first turn I started putting up my Alp WP bubbles and Bryan starting out putting damage into his dogs to get them low on health. I am familiar with the strategy and saw he has dropped Datsu right on his deployment line, in a place I could move up to get a clear line of sight on her. I measured and moves up my 10 inches, thinking I could lure Datsu out of range of Weigh Sins and throw off his cycle. I did not want to get too far away from the dreamer, as I still wanted to bury Lilitu when he activated. I set Lilitu down and declared the Lure with my casting expert. Quick measure and I was 1 inch out. Bryan looked a little rattled, but not too badly. I completed my turn by putting up terrifying and burying all my nightmares, then moving forward with the Dreamer and a Day Dream.

Turn 2, I pop out an Alp onto the neutral objective (with the day dream), and then proceed to sac the objective. Bryan moves up and takes a shot at the Alp, but misses. Bryan moves most of his crew up to engage mine, using McMourning to take a shot at the Day Dream and killing it. In return, I pop out Chompy in melee with McMourning. McMourning proceeds with his remaining AP (rule clarification in the rules manual) and tries to land Wrack with Pain on Chompy to stop his summoning another day dream. I flip like crazy and succeed through cheating and stones to resist all the casts. Excellent! Chompy goes to town and flips fairly average, doing decent damage to McMourning leaving him with ~6 wounds. Chompy summons a Day Dream, and the shenanigans start. New Day Dream leads Chompy out of combat with lead nightmare, then tell him to go to sleep and puts the Dreamer in play. Dreamer decides he wants to play with all his friends, and drops the entire crew into a grand melee. Lilitu/Dreamer/Daydream all sat in a ball just outside of the scrum and there was a big mess of McMourning, Sebastian, 1 Gaki, Chihuahua, Crooked Man, 3 Alps, and Coppy all in combat. Slightly to the side was a second Gaki and Lelu. I do not remember the whole order of activation, but Lilitu lured Sebastian into the melee, and also lured Datsu into the melee. Sebastian activates at one point and goes slow (taking 2 damage from Alps) and fails his terrifying checks twice, taking coppelius's damage and dying. Grudge taken care of.

At this point the best occurence in the tournament (for me) happened. I activated an Alp and actually got a hit off on McMourning. I flip my cards and the red joker comes up. I flip weak damage to follow up and set of this chain:
  1. Alp hits McMourning with Red Joker + Weak damage
  2. McMourning takes 4 damage and goes recieves slow
  3. McMourning takes 3 points of damage from the Alp's for recieving slow
  4. McMourning dies
  5. Alp next to McMourning summons a new Alp with McMournings face
This was the first time I got the Alp Cascade to spawn a new alp. At this point, the game was in a dire situation for Bryan. Turn 2 ended with 1 Gaki, Bete, and Datsu surrounded by 4 Alps (all slow and failing tests) and coppelius. Lilitu, Lelu, Dreamer, a Day Dream, and a Gaki at 1 WD are to the side of the combat, and 2 corpse tokens left are on the board. Turn 3 we alternate activations, with Bryan activating Datsu, going slow, taking damage, and healing. I activate Lelu and start attacking the Gaki, Making him eat the last 2 counters before dying. Bette activates and dies to slow. Time was called, so we had 1 turn to complete our game. Day Dream and Dreamer companion activate, Day dream jumps to the middle of the scrum and buries all the nightmares. Dreamer flys over the battle and lands, bringing out all his friends with everyone on 1 of the 3 remaining objectives. Everyone activates and destroys an evidence, giving me 8 and Bryan 0.

Round 3 - Dreamer vs Lady Justice
Round 3 I got to play the Lady Justice crew in the tournament. I very happy with this match-up as I am very familiar with Lady J. In addition, he was running a very different crew than I have previously tried out, focusing heavily on high damage output and melee. This was going to be a challenge for me, as I truly believe one of the best match's for Dreamer is Lady J and her hard to kill crew. We played on a forest table, where the entire table was forested granting cover and reducing line of sight to 3 inches. I knew from the start this would be to my benefit. I flipped Claim Jump, with Assassinate and Stake a Claim pre-selected. He had slaughter, and chose kill protege though I do not remember his second scheme. His crew consisted of:
Lady Justice +7 Stones
Samael Hopkins

I started in the same way, putting up terrifying and the alp bubbles then putting my toys away. I drifted up the board and he moved forward on turn 2. Turn 3 I saw an opening and dropped out LCB on Lady J. My first attack was stoned and missed, letting Lady J riposte on me, dealing 4 damage. I followed that up with a round of LCB getting good flips, Lady J with bad flips, and Lady J dieing. Chompy gets put away, Dreamer comes out and drops the crew onto the remaining crew. I was not thinking and dropped Coppelius out as well, which gave him the opportunity to have Sanitago go crazy with trigger happy and take him down. Coppelius was the protege, giving him 2 points to tie my 2 point scheme. Then a grand melee launches between the executioner and Lelu. Lelu was very hurt but was able to kill the Executioner. Executioner turns with his slow to die and kills one of the Alps, healing up. At that point I realized this was not going to go well. I needed to split his crew up and gang up on them one at a time, which was going to be tough with only a 3 inch LOS limiting Lilitu's lure.

Turn 3 I got initiative and the Dreamer decided the big Guild men were no fun to play with. He promptly picked up all his toys and ran for the back corner of the board. I used the day dream to put out the twins, with the hopes of healing up Lelu at the end of the turn. Watching his movement over the turn, I realized I had positioned them wrong, and put Lelu away before he could be picked off. 2 turns of movement brought the guilders on top of Dreamer and his dreams, so Dreamer stomped his feet again and ran for the objective. Turn 5, I drop everything on the objective. Turn 6 Ryle pops off a second Alp and game ends. I claim 8 points, he gets 2 for slaughter and 2 for kill protege.

Final Tally
At that point, the TO decided to wrap up the tournament and cancelled the 4th round. Points were totaled and I ended up with 20 points and in first place. Overall, our crew took the top 3 places in the tournament, with John taking second with Marcus and Dan taking third with Nicodem. Prop's go to Dan for being the only player all day to keep me from winning, and keep me from maxing my score.

At the end of everything I was also the only person to land all 6 of his pre-declared schemes. Go me! It was a very fun day, very much due to the camaraderie in our group. We had a lot of fun and there was a whole lot of jesting going on through the day. I will also admit its nice to land first place against a fairly challenging field.

So whats next? Adepticon. I now have my eyes on a top 3 finish at Adepticon, I just need to figure out if I am running with Neverborn or going back to Guild to do it.