Thursday, August 28, 2014

Warmachine MK II lessons learned, 40K locally and the Borg this weekend...

So, the lessons I learned in Warmachine so far… 

1.       Learn your spell lists…  Seems obvious, but it has been a LONG time since last I played.  And frankly I am using casters I was never really familiar with in the first place.  One new one, Constance Blaize.  She is the leader of my Paladins (Morrowan).  Last night I completely forgot her “Flashing Blade” spell which allows her to spend 1 Focus to attack EVERYTHING in her Melee range.  She has Reach, so a 2” zone out, combined with Flank if she is near another (non Warcaster) Morrowan granting her +2 to hit and an additional Damage Dice…  Making this absolutely brutal, and as I had her between two War Jacks that were themselves engaged, this should have been an easy “And it’s destroyed” thing with a few focus…  Reacting to being swarmed by Undead Pirates, the Paladins…  Well, OK, SHE spent a focus and cleared EVERYTHING within her 2” range allowing her to move freely and get into position to call “checkmate” on the Cryx caster…  What I have played so far, I have fallen back to what worked in MK I, and in CPT Haley’s case…  Well, it does NOT work these days…
2.       Warmachine and Hordes are different…  Again, obvious, but the “fun, let’s try this unit” theory of list building does NOT work against a well-tuned uber Hordes list.  I suspect that despite the rebalancing of things that came with MK II, Hordes is still the “better” system.  Saying that, while breaking out the Werewolves and the like for my Circle forces IS tempting, I think I need to re-learn Warmachine first.  Since I was there at the beginning of Hordes, I am fairly familiar with what worked back then, and having faced a few armies (Skorne especially seems popular, shame Tim is off in his submarine, his was always quite fun to play against…).  Too many things that work well against Jacks still and not at all against Beasts.  And with the fact that Beasts are 100% until the die (almost), and the ease with which they can be repaired at will?  In any case, I am learning what works against them…  VERY different list than WM.  But my Gun Mages amusingly are really quite good against either…
3.       Synergy is key…  Should go without saying, but of course it is far more so than in 40K.  For instance, I used the Sentinel Light Warjack with CPT Kraye as “light cav”, and it was “eh” at best…  Now, had it Jack Marshalled by my Gun Mages last night…  Getting to use the ammo like the Mages for the 14” machine gun attack, or the thunder strike I guess, but really I think it is pretty much the 14” range.  Turns a “Meh” unit into something to be feared…  And Shield Guard to keep the LT safe from random sniper shots if needed…  But more likely the Caster or CPT Strangeways who is there to repair and give out extra Focus…
4.       Bring something to be your heavy hitter…  Ranged combat is neat and all, but in the end it WILL come down to being able to hit or be hit in HtH.  Was sorely lacking in some of my earlier lists…  I do wonder what some of the other casters I’ve not yet unearthed will do for me…  Haven’t broken out my actual HtH heavies yet either…

So far I am enjoying this game FAR more than what 40K has become locally even…  I know 5th was “highly competitive” elsewhere, but overall not as much locally…  Fliers WERE a problem with some armies magically getting cheap and REALLY good fliers (Necrons and to an extent the IG) while other armies had NO access to them…  6th  was a big change, and it ushered in the age of the Eldar and Monstrous Creatures…  7th seems so very much like version 6.5 for me.  Not a lot changed in the game itself.  Let me clarify, yes, a lot actually changed with Psychics getting their own phase, etc., but from a player’s perspective?  Not really.  What HAS changed is the insane speed with which GW is releasing this edition’s updated books for the various armies.  While on one hand that is great, it is simply too expensive.  And breaking things into multiple (expensive) books?  I guess that is the “smart” thing to do from a business perspective.  I do know it has cost them a fair number of sales locally at least, so I guess time will tell whether this is a viable or good strategy.  The Wolves book and the old Grey Knights ones are the ones I see having been split into 3 book each…  The Wolves is just insulting to me, but that is just my opinion of course.  Giving PART of the army list in one book, then modifications to it in a second with the painting guide going to a third book?  Overloading on recycled fluff and pictures as filler for a bigger page count…  The GK at least split logically with Assassins never really belonging in the GK book in any case and the Inquisition being split previously…  To me this made sense, but I’m an old time GK player who actually played them as “Grey Knights” and not as “Inquisition All Stars” playing under the GK banner… 

Sucks to see the game wither like this locally, but to be honest I just can’t seem to keep any particular interest in the current game.  It does seem like the mini players locally have moved (back in many cases) to WM/Hordes…  Mind, I haven’t gone on Monday for a while to see, but I know Dave had mentioned that attendance was lackluster at best for a while…  Guessing I was not the only one to adapt the “let’s wait a bit…  or longer” attitude…  Dunno, gets old quickly seeing the same things win every time, so even the challenge of building something to compete simply is not there…


STAW event Sunday at the Gopher…  Really looking forward to that.  The Ch’Tang I won in that raffle is not here yet, so it may well be my Federation Fleet going up against the Borg.  Have only the one Keldon class and it has been sold out locally for a bit J…  So, the Dominion builds I looked at are also looking more difficult.  May have a bit of a mix with the Keldon and whatever else I throw in there, we’ll see.  Looks like one I’ll need to be sure to not only win each match, but score 20 more hits against the Cube in each to have any chance of catching Lon who is sitting in first locally…  I’m #2, but no sure how far back.  OP3 is next Month for the finale…  I suspect it will be far more difficult to catch up then, and while missing out on the Vulcan prize ship was not good with some REALLY nice cards, I suspect I can trade for it if I decide to go with a Vulcan fleet…  and several of the good cards are already coming out as retail  in the next wave’s expansion set.  The Raven itself is of no interest to me, but some of the cards are…  Mostly looking for the Stargazer myself.  Another Federation ship, and a decent one at that…  The Grand Prize ship?  Not really interested, but…  Some of the variants are good…  Just not sure I can get to first place for the ship J…  Frankly, far more interested in getting the blind buy ships for the Federation, Klingons and Dominion…  Each of them have things or ARE things I’d play, so…