Monday, September 28, 2015

Age of Sigmar Podcast

Just a quick post here, gamers.

I've been looking for more Age of Sigmar-positive media and forums lately and came across these blokes (am I saying that right?) from England (or the UK, or whatever you chaps call it).

It's a podcast called Heelanhammer (whose meaning is lost to me. You say you guys invented the language?), and it's great. It's very well put together, the hosts are informative and worth listening to, and I find it delightful (or as the British call it: football).


Vancouver's First Kings of War Tournament

Yesterday I had the great pleasure to play in the first Kings of War tournament held in Vancouver, BC.

Vancouver's always been a pretty hot city for Warhammer, with very dedicated groups of tournament players willing to travel to various locations to compete. I say this because when 8th edition Warhammer ended there was—and still is—a schism in Vancouver's gaming community. Some people have moved on to Warmachine and Hordes, some people have gravitated deeper into 40k, or into SAGA and Bolt Action, while others (like myself) are very excited about Age of Sigmar (AoS).

Then there are some of us who hope that the majority of the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) crowd will want to play Kings of War (KoW) to sate their tournament needs. I'm actually glad AoS split the tournament crowd here. If it hadn't, I don't think I would've given KoW a second glance. I'm having loads of fun with AoS, but I also had a ton of fun at yesterday's KoW tournament. I think the two games compliment each other better than others realize.

Anyway, enough of my yammerin' about the crowd here; let's get into the tournament: It was put on by Wargaming Without Borders (WGWB), which is a charity event run by a combination of the three biggest clubs here in Vancouver: WCP, A-Club, and CHOP!. This year they ran the gamut of popular miniatures games, but eschewing AoS, they instead ran a KoW tournament.

The tournaments these clubs run are great. They often involve a great "soft score" element—that is to say, sportsmanship, painting, etc.—and they're very well-run. Some of these guys have been running tournaments for over a decade, so they're always tight. They tend to have amazing prize support, and this was no exception. They raffled off about a dozen prizes and I managed to get the new Khorne Bloodbound Battletome for AoS, which, as one of the more enthusiastic AoS players in the city, was fitting.

There were four games at 1500 points each, using the scenarios from the KoW book. There were twelve players and the overwhelming majority of the armies were painted, with so few exceptions that they could be counted on one hand.

Hilariously enough, when I first signed up I thought this tournament would be a bit of a cinch for me. I'm not the most competitive gamer, which often means that I get rocked in tournaments, but I had been playing lots of KoW, and had even begun playing well before anyone else in the city, so I thought I'd at least give my opponents a run for their money. As we'll see, this was not the case. I was surprised to see how much experience everyone had with this game. Two people even had glued their models to the movement trays! Which is something that I had only seen my friend Paul do (and he's been on the KoW band wagon since day one). I had a great time, and I definitely would do another one.

So let's look at some pics I remembered to take (sadly, while I was prepared to bring my camera, I instead forgot it in typical Carmin style, and had to rely upon my cellphone):

The only shot from my first game. I'm not going
to lie, I was a bit rough from a party I went to the
previous night, which is the only thing that could
explain my horrendous deployment. My opponent,
Vern, still played a solid game, but my deployment
didn't make it any harder for him. A loss for me.

My second game was against another Kingdoms
of Men army (this time, my good buddy Paul).
Our game ended as they usually do: closely. Had
we gone to a seventh turn (which is randomly
determined on a 4+ after the 6th turn) I would've
won. Sadly, none of the four games I played this
day went past 6 turns.

We played the "Loot" scenario from the rulebook.
The blue counters are loot counters.

I was feeling better this game, so took more pictures.

Best dice roll of the tournament. That's a troop
of ironwatch riflemen (rifledwarfs?) shooting. For
those that are wondering why I would document
even a good roll like this, I should let you know
that I am famous—amongst gamers in Vancouver
who know me—at having the worst rolls at the
most in-opportune times.

Game three against another dwarf army. This
one was hilariously the "Invade" scenario, which
meant that two dwarf armies had to get into each
other's deployment zones to score. 

This game was against my good buddy Calen.
A guy I've known for almost a decade. He's a
skilled gamer in almost any game he sits down to
play, and only lost one game this whole tournament.

This was the dumbest move I made all game
(or maybe Calen's smartest), which is going up
against a dwarf king with regeneration and De: 6+.
Needless to say, the dwarf berserkers were a minor
speed bump in Calen's path to victory.

Little tactical tip for those that are thinking about
getting into KoW: Units with De: 6+ are really
hard to kill. 
So that's it. Sadly, I forgot to document my fourth game which was the "Dominate" scenario against a Brotherhood army (KoW's version of Bretonnians). At the time I hadn't eaten and was starving. My brain was in no state to even think about gaming and had never played against—nor even considered—this army and the game was pretty much his. Still, he played a solid game, and had a really uniform-looking paint job.

Here are some observations about the game in general:
1) KoW is more relaxing to play in tournaments. WFB, and to a greater extent, Warmachine/Hordes always left me exhausted by the end of the day, unable to think or do much but pack up models and grab a drink in silence. This was not the case with this game. I could've easily played another one or two games that day before feeling wiped.

2) Games of KoW are quick. Paul and I have been playing with chess clocks and our games of 1500 points have come in at just over an hour. I never had a game go to time in this tournament.

3) Every time I play KoW I like it more and more. When I first looked at it, I thought it was silly, but felt that I had to try it. My first actual game felt boring. But every game after that has had me like it more and more.

4) KoW is a better tournament system than WFB ever was. I love(d) WFB. For years it was my favorite game, and I tried to become a better gamer with every game I played, but for tournaments it was too wacky; too much variance in both the army lists and what happened in game. This made it amazing for club or campaign play (which I think was its intent), but for tournaments, organizers had to create a list of exceptions and rules (again, I think this was its intent). KoW was designed to be a tournament game and I think it excels in this regard. I can game comfortably knowing that this will be my tournament game.

So there you have it: A glowing review from someone who loves AoS, doesn't play a ton in tournaments (though that may change), and at first didn't think much of KoW. If you have been thinking of trying this game out, and have fond memories of 6th or 7th edition WFB, you should give it a go (I mean, you already have the models, and the rules and army lists are free). And if you're ever in Vancouver, BC and your models are handy, pop by an event held by one of these groups. You won't be disappointed.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Drunken Dwarfs

To keep in theme with the models I was painting, I began drinking beer and didn't stop until these four dwarfs were finished.

Here they are awaiting a gloss cote. When I play any edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle they act as markers for war machines to show that they can't fire this turn or next, and when I'm playing Kings of War, they're unit fillers for my horde of Ironclad.

Plus they're just great-lookin'.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Here's What I Painted Today

So I don't post as much as I'd like. To remedy this, I'm going to do some "flash posts" where I post what I worked on, even if it was just a couple brush strokes, or a few adventure ideas.

I'm going to a Kings of War tournament in a couple weeks, and I need to beef up a couple units and paint some movement trays. I need to finish 16 models, and here are some drunken dwarves and a master engineer.

They're not done yet, but I'm gettin' there!