Thursday, 24 January 2013

076 - 2012 Resolutions Review

So, time to see how I measured up to the resolutions I set myself at the start of 2012…. Brace yourself for disappointment!

1)       Paint 60% of my Malifaux collection – FAIL

Currently I’m sitting at 46% painted, which is less than I had this time last year! I’ve drastically neglected the painting side of the hobby in 2012, and I’d be surprised if I painted more than 20 models all year. This has to change.

2)       a) Keep Objectives front of mind, b) Make every activation count, c) Keep a record of all games – SEMI-FAIL

My performance in the Rankings in 2012 left a lot to be desired. This was partially down to attending only two ranked events, and partially down to performing poorly in both of them. I don’t feel that my ability at the game has improved over the last year. I’m still making silly errors that usually cost me the game, and I’m starting to realise that at a competitive level these errors are reliably exploited by my opponents. I have tried to apply a) and b), but I don’t feel that they have led to an improved performance. As for c), I do have a full record of all my games which shows me that for the year I have 19/2/23 W/D/L record. Winning almost half my games gives one picture, but my main two Masters for the year, Pandora and Seamus, have only a 31% and 33% win record respectively.

3)       Complete construction of a gaming table & terrain collection and use it to run demos at an event – FAIL

My scenery project stalled early in the year, but I did attempt to revive it shortly before Christmas. I didn’t manage to run any demo games in 2012, but I have signed up to run a demo table at Vapartnak in a fortnight (albeit not on my own board)

4)       Blog Progress – FAIL

I’ve neglected this blog for two long stretches in 2012, which is partially due to reduced play time. Without getting regular gaming and painting time in, my motivation to come here and post has taken a hit. My web-browsing time/attention has also been eaten into by other interests that have developed in 2012. Also completely lacking has been progress update blog posts, which I put down to increased participation on Twitter in 2012, where progress photos and feedback come much more naturally. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think I could use the two formats in combination in a more effective way.

My 2013 Resolutions are along the same lines.

 1)       I’m going to be retiring my current main crews for 2013, so this will drive me to *have to* paint a lot more this year. I’m therefore going to take another stab at my 60% goal by the end of the year. I also want to win a painting prize this year. My current work in progress crews are probably my best work to date, and I've been told that I usually miss out on Best Painted awards by only one or two votes. This year I'm really going to push the boat out.

 2)       My gaming resolution will be to take three different Masters to tournaments in 2013. And by different I mean completely new Masters I haven’t used in a competitive setting before. I’ll be aiming for mid-table placings, rather than the lower positions I’ve been achieving recently, with a stretch goal of finishing in the top 5 for at least one event. I believe this to be a realistic and achievable aim.

 3)       I *will* finish my gaming board this year! Blog posts will follow soon to show the progress I’ve made so far.

 4)       I’m going to put aside some designated time every week to work on this blog, which will hopefully mean that there won’t be the same long gaps in posting from time to time. On Twitter, I will aim to post something with the #MiniatureMonday tag on a weekly basis. They may not be finished models (although it’d be nice if they were!), but at least they’ll be work in progress pieces. This should tie back to my painting resolution and improve my motivation to get through my pile of models.

See you back here again - same time next year!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

075 - GT 2012 Round-Up

So after another period of neglect at the end of last year, it seems I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. I’ll try to bash out a few posts in the next couple of weeks and get up to speed with all the recent goings off in the Malifaux world.

 I did start writing an in-depth post about my game results from the GT in November, but only got half way through and now I feel like it’s too long ago to fully remember the remaining games in the same amount of detail. Therefore here’s a condensed tournament report, although it’s probably a bit late for anyone to care any more….!

Pandora vs Misaki (Ian Brocklebank) – 25ss Treasure Hunt

My first experience of playing against anything from Storm of Shadows, and Ian was also relatively new to Misaki, so the game progressed slowly. I think we only got to Turn 3 before time was called, and through copious use of the Downburst spell in that final turn, Ian had made sure my models were far enough way from the treasure for Misaki to be able to leap in and pick it up in the final activation. I was disappointed that we didn’t get into subsequent turns, because I felt my crew was in a better position overall (Pandora had taken care of a few minions and Misaki was in the centre relatively unsupported) and later turns might have produced a different result.
Score: Loss 7-2

Pandora vs aSonnia (Matt Ledgerwood) – 35ss Slaughter

I made several silly mistakes in this game, starting as early as crew selection, where even though I had a feeling I’d be facing Sonnia, I steadfastly stuck with Pandora (and hired some handy blast-able Sorrows to boot!). Tuco took out a Witchling early on, but ended up getting turned into a Witchling himself who then provided a handy target to bounce further blast markers onto Pandora. When Sonnia fulfilled her manifest requirements (in a single turn!), I realised how much of a hard counter to Pandora she is, and I lost my Master by Turn 4 after getting chased around a bit by some Flame Pyre markers. On the other flank, Lelu & Lilitu were gunned down by two Austringers and several Death Marshalls before they even made contact, despite a terrain heavy board. This will be the last time I underestimate a gun-line crew. Matt played excellently though, and I look forward to another run-in at future events.
Score: Loss 8-0

aPandora vs Pandora (Rich Baker) – 40ss Claim Jump

Mirror matches are always interesting to play, because often they mean that your Master’s main advantages are perfectly countered by your opponent. They usually make for very cagey games as nobody wants to make the first move and leave themselves exposed. In the case of Pandora, their competing aura’s meant that even casting Pacify with Pandora was risky, as at the end of the duel *somebody* would be losing a Wd, and it might be you! Rich brought several models that I rarely use myself, including Teddy and Iggy, and both crews pretty much demolished each other piece for piece until there were few survivors left to contest the Claim. Luckily, I’d brought the Avatar of Insanity which comes paired with Candy, an extra significant model, who swung the model count in my favour in the final VP tally.
Score: Win 6-4

Pandora/Collodi vs Zoraida/Collodi (Ade Mills) – 30ss Destroy the Evidence

Another mirror match of sorts – we both chose Collodi and we both chose the same schemes! Neither of us wanted to commit Collodi to capturing objectives too early, as it would open that player up to a hefty retaliation. Ade’s Collodi pounced on my Tuco who was guarding an evidence marker and wiped him from the board, but that allowed Pandora to strike and kill a couple of the Marionettes, hampering his further movement. I kept Pandora back to deal with Collodi (although in my enthusiasm to chase him down I forgot to stand her on an evidence marker which he snagged in the last turn for 2VPs! D’oh!), and sent the rest of my crew forward to try and score Breakthrough. Unluckily for me, Zoraida managed some impressive casting of Repulsive in the final turn which meant that I was forced out of her deployment zone, and with the final cast of the game Ade clinched a narrow victory.
Score: Loss 6-5

aPandora vs Seamus (Wesley Decloedt) – 40ss Recon

It was nice to get another game against another person I’d not met before – Wesley had come from Belgium to attend the tournament. Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding of the terrain rules for woods, his mis-deployed his crew behind a large wood (thinking he could step into the back of the wood and cast Lure through 8 inches of trees, as I believe you can in Warhammer 40K) and it hampered his movement, forcing him to come at me in two waves. Seamus over-extended himself, and got sent packing by Pandora and Lelu, but a timely Copycat Killer swap saved him from dying early. Having placed Kill Protégé on Tuco, Wesley spent most of the game trying to Lure him closer, only for him to Regenerate and run away again every activation. I think Wesley expended a little too much effort trying to nail down Tuco (who eventually fell in Turn 6), but by that point I had spread out enough to claim more quarters than his survivors. Once again, the last minute extra significant model of Avatar Candy came in very useful for an area capture game.
Score: Win 5-3

My final result was therefore 2-0-3, with 6TP and -10VPD, putting me in 40th position out of 54 players. I have to say I was disappointed with my placing, but the score reflects my performance on the day. Too many silly and preventable mistakes!

My game performance aside, it was an excellent weekend, packed full of fun - I got to play Malifaux against a few new people, the extra-curricular activities put on by Jo were top-notch. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the GT2013 to anybody with a weekend to spare!

I should also mention that I was pleased but surprised to win the fancy dress competition against some excellent costumes. Thanks to everyone that shouted loudly for me! It just goes to show that when it comes to fancy dress, having a brilliantly made and accurate costume isnt as important as making yourself look as ridiculous as possible!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

074 - Kickstart-onomics

As I write this there are only 8 hours left for Wyrd's kickstarter for their in-development roleplaying game Through the Breach.

I've been on the fence about whether or not to pledge since the project launched at the start of December. The initial rewards were less than overwhelming, and I think overall feeling towards the project in the Malifaux community was lukewarm, but Wyrd have done a pretty good job of adapting, and the last few weeks have seen additional rewards added to all tiers, and a couple of extra stretch goals.

In short, it's a bit more tempting than it was before!

Here's a look at what swag you can get your hands on at each pledge level, roughly converting the dollars into proper money:

2 Softback rulebooks
Fate Deck
Santana Ortega

+ 4 sprues of character models (each will build 3-5 minis)
+ Limited Edition Freikorps model
+ Screen & Character Sheets
+ Hanging Tree boxed set (possibly)

+ Fate Deck
+ Wicked Doll Plushie
+ Hardback double rulebook
+ Hanging Tree

I'd ruled out pledging at the top level from the start - there just isn't enough in there for it to appeal. I'm not interested in the doll, and I don't need additional rulebooks.

The jump from £50 to £100 is interesting though, as you get a fair few extra miniatures. However I still didn't think it worth pledging, for me at this level, because of one of the main extras is a limited edition model that I probably never use.

That changed last week though when a friend agreed to contribute towards the kickstarter if he could have the Freikorps model and one of the plastic sprues. That makes the rest of the stuff in the 2nd tier much more reasonably priced indeed, and as a result I've pledged at that level.

I'm also confident that I'll be able to sell on Santana who, whole being a lovely model and all, is nevertheless unlikely to grace my table if I kept her (I already have Santiago anyway!). She won't be worth as much as she was pre-kickstarter, as the market will be much more saturated come September, but she'll surely be worth at least as much as the other Miss models.

I'm not a roleplayer currently, but I'm willing to give the game itself a try, and even if I only play it a couple of times, the books will be packed full of new fluff, art, and information about the Malifaux world. When you consider they'll probably retail for £45 for the pair, adding another £20 on top in order to get a Fate Deck, a pile of sprues, a possible Hanging Tree, and a Miss Terious (because I pledged $1 early on) isn't unreasonable at all.

It's not the *mountain* of goodies often associated with gaming kickstarters, but it comes in at below retail price if you sell on the limited editions, which surely can't be a bad thing. And on that basis, you have only 8 hours to get involved yourself!