Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

On Overwatch

So I'm going to Italy for a week, starting Sunday; therefore I wont be posting anything 'till I get back on the 3rd of August (probably the 4th or 5th). I'm gonna do some more campaign thinking, and some White Dwarf stuff (even though it'll be a week late) then. Some news and pics are coming after Games Day Germany on the 16th, and I'm still putting some work into the intro to gaming article I'm writing.

I also pre-ordered a metric tonne of Retribution stuff! Can't wait 'till September!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Campaign Notes 2

So I want this campaign to have a definite storyline, one that revolves around the ending in Legends and the beginning of Mk2, and also coincides with the troop movements of the Retribution of Scyrah.

I'm thinking of a few modes of play:

This will involve weekly reports and goals for all the factions. Every week there will be cards (probably index cards) handed out every week to the respective generals. These goals will be flexible enough to allow for all sorts of opponents (i.e. one week's Cygnar report wont be exclusive to hunting Cryx). This will allow every faction to have its own story, while at the same time accounting for more than one player of the faction. For instance all Cygnar players will be working towards the goal of Cygnar, whether there's two Darius', or a Stryker and a Haley.

These goals, when reached will provide 'victory points' that the players can accumulate, and ultimately determine the winning faction at the end. It can also be used to tally the individual points of the separate gamers, allowing for a top player, in addition to a top faction.

I haven't decided, yet, if these points will carry over to the tournament, and have the tournament be like another set of games, or if I should have the winning faction, and player of the campaign get a bonus for use in the tournament, and have the tournament be the deciding factor for the whole thing. The problem with that, is there's a chance it could invalidate all the hard work done during the campaign, and I want the campaign to matter. However, I also don't want the tournament to see futile to some, as there will probably be prizes, and thus require an entry fee, and someone, or someone's faction wont enter if they think the thing is hopeless.

One way to ensure a worthwhile tournament experience would be to adjust the points per battle and objective before the tournament so that there's enough, if the lowest faction works hard enough, for them to come out on top as well. While, of course all points will apply to the highest faction as well. That, or because each faction gets its own story, and objectives I could make the underdog's objectives worth more points. This may draw the ire of the highest tier players, but it may require less math-balancing.

Ladder Campaign
This is right out, I think. They don't usually tend to be as immersive as I want this campaign to be, while at the same time, being too stringent.

Map-Based Campaign
These are really fun, and look really impressive, but are a bit of work to set up. I could use the Games Workshop Mighty Empires tiles, but they will probably be in use during the private campaign my gaming club will run. If my Story-Driven campaign turns out to be too much work I can always fall back on a map-based campaign.

That's all the time/energy I have for right now. For all you peoples of the Americas it's somewhere between 12:08, and 15:08, but for me it's 21:08 after a long day of schoolwork, speaking German, and celebrating the leaving of good friends I've made while on exchange, so it's been taxing.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Of Campaigning and Online Networks

A few WARMACHINE-related items this post.

First of all, I need to plan a campaign that will last from three to six weeks (hopefully six), will involve all eight (or nine in the case of the Retribution) factions, and have no limit to the amount of players. This is because when I return to Vancouver I will still be an employee at STRATEGIES Games & Hobbies, and I'll be in charge of running a WARMACHINE/HORDES campaign to celebrate the ending of Mk1 and the coming of Retribution, it'll also end in a tournament.

There are some aspects of the campaign that needs to be there:
+ It needs to be a campaign for both WARMACHINE and HORDES
+ It needs to involve all the factions available
+ It needs to last 3-6 weeks
+ It needs to end in a tournament
+ It needs to be open to almost any amount of players
+ It needs to be fun!

I'm going to chronicle the development here, with a deadline of middle to the end of September 2009. I went through my whole blog and fixed the tags, so everything all nice and tidy. I'll also be adding a tag to this project, cleverly titled: WM Campaign.

, I'm joining up with the Iron Agenda Blogging Network, in order to contribute my delightful opinions, and projects to the larger morass of the online gaming community (Online is an adjective, and not part of the noun gaming). I found, though, that before I do that I need a Privateer Press-based post that's newer than July 27th, 2008! Therefore, this one should do the trick!

I'm still working on that intro to Wargaming article, so that will be up here soon, as well as more of this campaign nonsense. For those that aren't big fans of Privateer Press stuff, I'll have some GW stuff coming around August when I go to Games Day Germany 2009, and in September/October when I work on some Chaos Daemons, and play around with Planetstrike.

Friday, July 3, 2009

White Dwarf 355 - July 2009

So I decided to add a new feature to the blog, every month (or two in the case of No Quarter) I will go through a copy of White Dwarf, or No Quarter, and give my opinions of it. Though it's not entirely necessary thanks to articles such as this, or this, I thought it would be fun to go through them, hopefully add a second opinion to it, and most importantly generate content. So without further ado:

White Dwarf 355 - July 2009

Now, first off, even though I live in Canada (and for the next two months, Germany), I'll be using the British issue numbering because it was the original magazine, and until Canada and Germany switched over to their own numbering, they used the British one. For the record this would be issue 163 for Germany, 354 for the US, and I have no clue for Canada, as I can't find their numbering on the website (plus I have no clue what's going on with GW Canada these days, as it shut down after I left for Germany). Also, keep in mind I'm going from the German issues until September (I'm gonna try and get a British August issue, but we'll see), so if there's any difference between terms I use, and ones you see in your English White Dwarf, then go with the WD, as I'm going by translation, and it's often not a direct translation.

A big criticism of White Dwarf has been that the magazine is simply an advertising vehicle for Games Workshop. The most telling aspect of this has been the 'New Releases' section of the magazine. Now I have no problem with new releases, as I want to see prices, release dates, and pictures as well, but I prefer the days of the 'Red Period' White Dwarfs (191-227 I think) where each game system had one or two pages dedicated to New Releases as opposed to these days. However, this issue has only 11 pages of New Releases and it goes through all the Planetstrike stuff as well as the subsidiary stuff like Black Library and Forge World. Doesn't look like a single thing for Warhammer or Lord of the Rings, which seems a bit strange; and as we'll see, this issue is rather devoid of Warhammer or LotR articles.

Further on we have the news section, which I rather like. In this one we have an article on the Open House event they had in Nottingham which I wish I attended, followed by a preview of the new board game Chaos in the Old World, that's put out by Fantasy Flight, and a blurb about an audio book by James Swallow called Heart of Rage. Despite being a huge Blood Angels fan I haven't actually read any of James Swallow's Blood Angels books, which this is supposed to be a continuation of, so I don't really have any anticipatory notes on it, but I'm excited as hell by the board game, as it has to do with the Chaos gods, and it harkens back to the time when GW made board games.

There's also three teaser sentences pretty much coming out and screaming that the next Warhammer faction to be redone is Skaven, but I don't know if that will surprise the rumor-forum junkies out there.

To the meat of the issue we have "War on all Fronts" the Planetstrike article, that's your standard fare design article, followed by some sample army lists. As a wannabe games designer, I enjoy design articles, as they give you an insight into the mentality behind design (something you can't always determine from the finished product).

This one seemed okay. It didn't go into anything profound (ie, things left on the cutting-room floor, upcoming products, etc.) instead it just gave a pretty good overview of Planetstrike itself, and gave passing comments about the balancing issues inherent in the new expansion.

The lone Warhammer article was a bit disappointing. I'm sure for a new Empire player, the Empire Tactica article would be helpful (and as much as things like this aren't very useful to us vets, we have to concede space to newer players) to the vets out there. I don't have my Empire army up and running yet, and I wanted to get to Standard Bearer as quickly as I could, so I didn't read this article.

Up next is an article, the likes of which I like to see in White Dwarf. This one's a new one as far as I know, and it's called Dave and Jeremy's Old War Stories. This article has Jeremy Vetock and Dave Andrews, two GW veterans giving alternative ways to play GW games (house rules, strange scenarios, etc). This one has them do a Kill-Team scenario with a handful of Catachans against a whole slew of Orks.

I like this kind of stuff in White Dwarf, because I believe it's using White Dwarf to its fullest, which is to provide alternative ways to enjoy your GW games, in addition to previews, news, battle reports, painting guides, and what have you. This one, in particular I don't think I'll recreate, but it provided me with somewhere to jump from if I want to do a similar thing, such as a Death Korps squad that's pushed too far into enemy lines and needs to regroup with it's HQ, or at the very least broke up the new release monotony that White Dwarfs can sometimes fall into.

Another article I like to see in White Dwarfs is an army list, and in this issue we have one for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. It's the Galadhrim list that appeared in the War of the Ring book, but converted for use in LotR. As if harkening back to the days when White Dwarf introduced new units (Genestealer Hybrids back in Rogue Trader), or full army lists (Legion of the Damned in 2nd edition). This was particularly pleasing to me, as I'm planning on doing a Galadhrim army for WotR, and now I'll be able to use it for LotR as well.

Afterwards we get a battle report between Eldar and Imperial Guard using the new Planetstrike rules. Usually I enjoy reading the battle report(s) in White Dwarf, but whenever a new codex or army book comes out, I can tell you exactly who will win, thus I tend to avoid those ones. This one I haven't read yet.

My favorite part of the recent White Dwarfs is Jervis' column Standard Bearer. Jervis is an industry vet within Games Workshop and has created, and contributed to some of my favorite games (including my favorite game: Epic). In his column he muses over certain aspects like collecting, painting, sportsmanship, points values, or in the case of this month's column: the social aspect of gaming. His very British style, and humor remind me of the days when he had more of a hand in White Dwarf articles, and are always a good read.

Finally we get to the painting articles. In this one we have a couple good ones, and some alright ones. Of course, they have a Planetstrike-themed terrain-building article that gives you some examples of bastions for various factions such as Chaos, Eldar (which looks Eldarish, but not very Bastion-like), and some tabletop setups that look fairly impressive. There's not much on the actual execution of these vis a vis a step-by-step guide, but for an experienced modeler, these provide some pretty neat inspiration.

There's a modeling guide for some new Space Marine stuff that's coming out including the Ironclad Dreadnought and the new Landspeeder Storm. There are no building instructions, but I think the point of these articles is to show you some configurations, and most importantly: every damned piece in the kit. I like the cut-away layouts that show every bit, along with a legend telling you what they are. I find that rather handy.

Up next was a rather, disappointing article on the new paint brushes Citadel is putting out. Rather, it seems to be just a reorganization of their current paint brush line. Anyways, it's pretty much a 4-page ad for their brushes. The only good thing to come out of it is a shot of the workshop where the brushes are made, that thankfully shows that it's not done by slave-labor, but instead by happy-looking women from England.

Finally, my favorite is a competition put on by the 'Eavy Metal team, where they each drew a type of wizard from the Imperial College of Wizardry out of a hat and had to build and paint that wizard. The winner got a neat little certificate, and I imagine some bragging rights amongst the other painters. Besides being a look behind the scenes at the people who work at Games Workshop, it also shocased some very nice looking models, and paintjobs.


So that's it then. My overall impression is that this is a good issue of White Dwarf, and that if you're a 40K player with an interest in Planetstrike, or a LotR player who wants to field the Galadhrim from WotR on your LotR tabletop, then it's worth getting. Otherwise not...

My favorite articles in this were (naturally) Standard Bearer, War on all Fronts, The Wizard contest article, and the Galadhrim army list. My least favorite articles were the rest of the painting/modeling articles, and the Empire Tactica article. All in all a very 40K-centric issue.