Category Archives: War Games

For the occasional discussion of tabletop war gaming!

Geek 501 – Geek Where You Are

geek 501

I feel like the massive explosion of geek culture in recent years – to the point that it doesn’t feel like a counter-culture anymore – is due in large part to the Internet. The Internet allows geeks to find each other, allows fans and fandoms to find each other. It allows for our expressions of geekiness to be found by others, for us to be creators as well and to have an audience. It allows niche and obscure things to have a large following, because the whole following can potentially connect together.

However, I’m also frequently reminded of how important it is to have a local focus, even as we geek. Let’s go with an example.

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New Edition of Warmachine and Hordes – First Impressions

Well, the new edition of Warmachine and Hordes came out over the weekend, with the rules provided for free online (finally found them in the bar at the top of the page here). They also built the actual rules PDF into their army list app, the newly released War Room 2, which is where I’ve been reading it.

Prime

I’m about halfway through. I’ve been busy. Also, keep running back to building armies…

The advice from Privateer Press was to read all the rules, and to do so carefully, so by golly I’m doing so. So far, not a lot of changes that they didn’t let us know about in advance… and otherwise, some changes where they cleaned things up and made them clearer.

There’s definitely some mistakes on all the various model cards, and some other different ones in the app, but I don’t mind those necessarily – it’s a new edition, these things happen. Or as the joke goes, they did just hire for an editor position… The real positive in their favor is it sounds like they’re planning on a full errata write-up in about a month, so they’re planning to jump on the obvious problems quickly. They have a rules forum as well, which I hadn’t frequented before but which looks quite busy!

I also played my first couple of games in the new edition last night, so with rules and games, I think I have some grounds for a first impression post!

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How to build a Hype Machine

Normally when they’re building a machine, Privateer Press is building a war machine… Warmachine… get it?

Anyway. They’ve been building a hype machine.

I mentioned last month that they announced a third edition to the rules for Warmachine and Hordes, and since then, they have been dropping spoilers on a week-daily basis. Official information releases, answers to questions on their forums, tweets, official “leaks” from distributors and game stores and press sites…

Just a little bit, each day.

They seem to have started with a lot of the bad news, trying to soften it with some good news and also with some question answering and discussion. They are moving further into stuff that is less changed or more positive. Or things that we really just have big question marks about – things that weren’t commonly played in the current rules.

And it’s been great – something to look forward to each day, a whole bunch of excitement for the game. They’re giving us time to get past some of our anger, fears, and trepidation. Time for the trolls to get some of their trolling out of their systems, before we get to actually play with these rules.

So that’s why it’s sad that, today, someone leaked a bunch of rules images that had the word “Confidential” stamped all over them.

There’s a few things they have done that were really good. A limited window of time for things to go wrong – the rules will be available online June 11, and the first new releases will come out at the end of June. Lots of spoilers to keep us both interested and satisfied. Discussion with the community about how and why on many of their decisions.

I could see, if they had said “new edition coming, PEACE” and there had been no more info… yeah, the first person to get their hands on something was going to leak it. Or with a long enough window of time. Or any number of other scenarios. Think of how spoilers and these things explode online. But I feel like they’ve handled this really well, like there isn’t nearly so much of a “need” from the community to get more spoilers. It’s less than a month now!

So yes, how do you build a hype train? We’ve seen several recently that have worked. Star WarsCivil War. But I think better than those has been the one for the new editions of Warmachine and Hordes, with a shorter wait time and far more information, which provides far more room for our theories and and musings. The last step will be living up to the hype: will a great game exist at the end of this process? Right now, I’m thinking so!

Gaming when you’re not Gaming

I love my games. I love the social time of playing a game, for sure. And the challenge while playing, for sure. But there’s more than that for me.

I love my game systems.

I love my deck building, my RPG builds, my character creation, my army building. For many games, maybe for most that have this sort of external component, I spend as much or more time on these aspects than I do actually playing the game.

My early experience was probably just in playing party-based video game RPGs. Figuring out which party would be best, creating the characters, playing a bit… then deciding there was something missing, and heading back to the drawing board.

It carried on into Magic: the Gathering. We would play at lunch at school, and whenever we could sneak a game. So we played most days… and most nights, I was home, changing my deck, or building from scratch. I would rebuild to try to meet my friends’ challenges, or to try out some new card I got, to try some interesting-seeming combo, or just to try to take them by surprise. You change it that often, and you change it for all the reasons you might…

I moved on from Magic to Warhammer, where I was constantly building new armies, new lists. Sometimes, that drove my purchases… sometimes, my purchases led to my army building. Oh, so many of those armies never got played – unlike Magic, I wasn’t getting anything close to daily games. It’s hard, then, to decide what to actually bring to bear when you do finally get a game in…

From there I moved on to MMOs, to Final Fantasy XI and then even moreso to World of Warcraft. In FFXI, you could switch around jobs on your one character, but you also always needed to be working with your party… so I didn’t need to strategize too much, but did some between gaming sessions with friends. In WoW, I did a lot of playing with friends, but also plenty on my own. You played different jobs by playing different characters, so lots of characters… and even more characters that I dreamed up, built skill trees for, and planned out all the way to maximum level. A moving target, as they released patches and expansions and changed the game…

So why am I saying all of this?

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Me and my Trolls (with pictures!)

Trollface

No, no, no. Not that kind of troll… Trollbloods! I had mentioned that I had started a Trollbloods Hordes army, and now I’ve had some time with them and it seemed like time to talk a bit more. And share some pictures because I’m realizing I haven’t done much of that yet, even on Instagram!

So it seems that I chose a pretty good time to get into Trollbloods… as I mentioned they had been nerfed, which meant that there were a good number of people who had headed to eBay to sell some… so I got some deals there. Then last week, Privateer Press who makes the game changed their rules on people selling things at a discount… so apparently I ordered the things I got from retailers in time too! Sadly I haven’t gotten everything I really wanted at first, but it’s now slow-grow time. Hitting the eBay again… likely some posts on that to come.

But for now, a few musings, a few pictures, all Trollbloods!

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