Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Shifty play, switching factions, and how to segue seamlessly between topics

It's been a wee while since my last blog post, and I think I'm about hitting that point where the enjoyment and novelty of writing is starting to fade, and things are starting to feel some what tedious. I want to remind myself that writing is also fun only so far as I persist and be mindful of what interests me, and the recent trend I've had of simply rehashing games is starting to wear thin. So until something truly interesting happens, (like the upcoming Valleycon tournament next week fuuuuuuuuu) I'll just gather a few thoughts here that I've been mulling over.

Mind you, there's been plenty of progress on the hobby front beyond games, I've built another cluster/flock/murder of Legion models for Nikola, and along with that is the last couple of Incindiarii I needed for my own Fist of Halaak force. I've been rushing to at least get basecoats, washes and arcs marked on all my models, and I've successfully done that to all but my Slingers, who are halfway there. I managed to get everything I needed assembled amidst gaming at Chas's pre-new years, and an over-night shift at my work provided a good chunk of time to get my Keltarii and Swordsmen up to the bare tabletop standard.

I've also been playing a lot of Dark Souls II.


Yeah, the holidays have been pretty darn decent.

What isn't decent, and one of the things I've been thinking about (mean segue), is cheating. Cheating within the warmahordes game was a hot topic of discussion recently, on various podcasts and across forums, due to the perceived actions of a certain person1 during the World Team Championships in Poland last year. There were a few places where discussion focused on what the boundaries of cheating actually were, and what constituted a mistake, and much talk on whether the player in question was actually guilty of what he was being accused of. I know when I first heard about it I got excited about the prospect of a bit of drama in the upper echelons of wm/h tournament play.

So shocking! Yet so enticing

I'm now ashamed at my initial eagerness for scandal, particularly upon hearing that people started getting quite nasty over the interwebs towards the player in question. to me there's no excuse for that at all. Discussion has made convincing arguments that there are so many more factors you have to take into account when gauging a player's conduct throughout a game, that seeing naught but their arms and models does not necessarily constitute damning evidence.

But further to that I don't think the point has been made that players of a game will develop their own set of conventions between them, to dictate how they will resolve the particular grey areas that inevitably crop up in a tabletop game like Warmachine. As great a game as Privateer Press has developed, there are still areas where the players themselves have to resolve certain things; what to do with cocked dice, whether to allow take-backs, accuracy of measurement, and so on. I'd like to think I am developing my play to a point where I have as clean a game as possible. But there will be instances where my opponent just doesn't care. That is something that I will have to work so we both feel we're getting the game-state we desire.

So in considering the above, the player in question wrote an open letter addressing the accusations and arguing for his innocence. More telling I find, is that his opponent from the game in question (who has had time to review the footage and had first hand experience of the game itself) vouched for the other's innocence, and accepts that what was played was a fair game. To me there's no accusation of foul-play that has any footing , when both players whole-heartedly accept the end-game state.

It is a pity that there was as much fallout from these events as there was, and I'm now a bit worried that it's remiss of me to even drag up this discussion again. It does seem that the majority of the community globally has already moved on from this though, and I feel sounding off on these topics to make sure people communicate openly and honestly, will allow for better games in general. Something I will endeavour to remain mindful of.

something something segue etc

Something else that popped to mind recently was the issue of changing faction in warmahordes. Some of this came to mind when listening to the Ozmachine podcast (episode 21 for those interested), and how Trent Denison is having issues with his recent shift to Menoth. The discussion reminded me of some of the teething pains I had playing Skorne; while this blog has chronicled my recent exploits in that faction, I did make the shift from Cryx. 2014 was meant to be my year of Skorne, and I lasted till February. So far I think I'm doing a better job of it, but I guess Valleycon will be the first test of my resolve. I'm constantly tempted to do more faction jumping however. I keep getting ideas to invest in some Mercs, and see about conjuring up some sort of list pairing with Ashlynn, Magnus, or Shae. There's just so much room to play around with in that faction, and they are criminally under-used in the current New Zealand meta.

But for now, I think I keep getting a better handle of how I like to play and what I like within the Skorne faction. Being more reflective about my own process is helping me way better in list creation and picking up the mistakes that I make within my games. This is all helping me stick with the faction and should also improve my game with Cryx.

I'm all about them smooth transitions

There's also been more development into my tier lists for Valleycon. I've taken the pMakeda list that I wrote about in the last post out for a spin, and it did ok. I flubbed things a bit, getting too sketchy and feating far too early, thinking two Doom Reavers would wipe me out. I really should have held on to the feat, pushed for the alpha, and used the feat to recycle dudes to apply more hurt - I'll work on that some more. The list did have layers though; having Swordsmen and Keltarii as a first wave, to then have Cetratii and Molik coming up the rear is pretty damn sweet.

However a further thought has made me doubt again whether infantry spam with pMak is really the best pairing for Xerxis; I totally forgot that Inhospitable Ground can help mitigate the amount of weapon masters that can get to my lines. Doh. I suppose there are still Bane Knights I have to worry about, and there are plenty of Pathfinder fixes out there. And beyond that, if someone brings their armour cracking list, it may still be worth it to drop pMak. But this just further highlights the amount of game Xerxis actually has. I'm loving that guy more and more, I just can't wait to pull him out of tier and really put him to work.

1 I won't name him as several people seemed to shy away from even discussing the topic out of respect to the player in question who seemed to cop a fair amount of shit from random internet harassers. That, and I'm lazy enough to not bother looking up how to spell his name correctly.


  1. Remember, even if you never use the second list, it's nice to have something to scare your opponent into play what you want them to :)

    1. Something I'm beginning to think about, but I'm not sure I can really get a handle on. I might have to write about this in full some more, as that will help me figure out my own list selection process, but right now I'm barely getting my head around how my lists compliment each other.