Tag Archives: War Games

Warmachine Wednesday – Finally, Trolls Updates!

It’s finally happened! The playtesting happened in July (as I discussed on the Trollbloods Scrum podcast), the 4-6 weeks to wait for changes to existing models… took slightly longer than 4-6 weeks. Though they did talk to us and apologize about the delays, they did not entirely explain them – but to be fair, there are a lot of moving parts. When a change comes out, they are updating the free database of rules cards online, the paid War Room app (which includes army list building functionality that all has to work), release a patch notes, and that’s all after internal playtesting and editing… oh, and doing other things for the rest of the game, as well.

I think that now that the changes are live, all is forgiven, and maybe the online community can stop wishing this day would come… it’s gotten pretty toxic as time has passed.

Also, this hopefully means that the many people who seemed to be slowly dropping out of the faction – or the game as a whole – because of where Trolls seemed to be ending up will return!


For me, I’d been having fun and doing alright before this, but quality of life improvements are always welcome – especially as others around me have been getting those. And with my second army still not exciting me, the fun has to come from Trolls, so making sure those stay fresh and fun is important.

No, what matters more for me is that once we knew the changes were coming – and, through the open playtesting, knew roughly what they would be (the final product was very close to the last that we saw in playtest) – I lost a lot of interest in playing the “live” rules. I wanted the changes, like so many of my compatriots, and didn’t want to play the clunky old versions of things.

Really, it’s just nice to finally be here. Thank you, Privateer Press. I think this is what the Trollbloods community needed to not just be growing in salt and bitterness. It’s what was needed because Trolls haven’t been winning tournaments. It’s what’s needed because it fulfills the promises of the new edition, and the open playtesting in the Community Integrated Development.

It’s a good day to play Trolls!

The Scrumcast: Ep 18 vs David

Hey that’s me! My guest appearance on the Trollblood Scrum is finally live in podcast form: http://handcannononline.com/blog/2017/10/04/the-scrumcast-ep-18-vs/

What we say is still valid for a couple reasons. One is we were talking about playtest changes that are still not live rules yet (hopefully next week?), so it’s still speculation. And we talk plenty about what to do with these changes in rules and new models, so that’s still relevant!

Crazy to think I recorded this in July… and that it’s now October!


For another word for Warmachine Wednesday (which I haven’t done enough for it to be a thing yet…), we are doing a tournament this coming Saturday. Privateer Press released a whole bunch of new theme lists for playing thematic armies, to the point where now basically every model in the game exists in some theme list. There were also some tweaks on existing models.

This means that our group is not sure what to do for which army to bring, so many new options! So many new ideas!

The fun idea that Chad hit on instead is to bring two different armies to play, and we’ll get a chance to play both lists. So that has me dusting off my Convergence, my Clockwork Angels, and coming up with a pairing for my Trollbloods. Actually, with the Troll changes not yet live rules, picking something to play is difficult, so that’s the hard end of the spectrum!

I have a bunch of repair to do on models which haven’t hit the table in a while, and a bit of construction on some I haven’t gotten to use yet (now seems like the time!), but I’m looking forward to having some fun on Saturday! I should hopefully get plenty of pictures posted on our Instagram, so be looking for those!

Audio

Lock & Load 2017 – Comparative Opinions Episode 59

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, David is rejoined by Chad to discuss Lock & Load 2017 (which Chad went to), the current state of Warmachine & Hordes, and about the upcoming skirmish game from Privateer Press, Company of Iron. We try to avoid getting deep into the weeds, so we hope you like it!

You can listen to our previous Warmachine related podcast here!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Alternate Me Was There… Lock & Load 2017

Today is the first day of Lock & Load 2017, the convention run by Privateer Press! My friends headed down to that but with our last trip, traveling now didn’t make sense. However, I’ve gotten to watch some of the spoilers and all that came out of it today. They did a good job on some video work for their keynote, and it’s all that’s buzzing in my head, so I thought I would share!

First, a totally hilarious video for their upcoming painting tutorial series (something I should probably watch more of):

Next up, a voice over video with a ton of spoilers to round out potentially the whole next year of their major focus and releases! Lots of cool art and spoilers both.

And finally, their next project (and apparently an annual one): the 12 factions getting something for Christmas. So that everyone always at least gets something each year…

Chad (from the podcast) and probably the rest of my friends made it to the front row, so I could have been there! Alternate reality me was there. But hey, I get a little bit of the fun…

Are we doing more than playtesting?

I mentioned a while back that for the wargame I play, Warmachine & Hordes, they have opened up playtesting to their community. They’re a few cycles in now, and it’s interesting to reflect – especially given how much it’s getting talked about on the podcast circuit. Like normal, I’ll try to talk broadly about the game so you can follow along if you’re interested!


The first thing they put through the testing paces was a whole new faction coming out in July, so that got everyone interested/excited in checking out that many new rules at once, and got everyone playtesting as well on either the side of the new army, or playing against them.

Then, after a short break, they started testing the new scenario & tournaments ruleset, which they change on an annual basis so that they can keep the game changing and shaking up without having to redo the core rules and model rules constantly. Just changing the rules of engagement, so to speak, can do a lot to shake up the game. With this testing, they invited everyone to join in, and to even run tournaments using these playtest rules, so that they could get a large amount of playtest data.

Then (and concurrent with the end of the last test) they put through testing the Battle Engines in the game, which exist in every army. These are the large engines of warrior, so chariots and siege engines and such. So once again, they got everyone theoretically interested and involved, following the rules changes on models in their army, and in other armies as well, and playing test games where maybe both players had a Battle Engine, but maybe just one player did.

Last week, again after a bit of a break, they’ve finally begun what they have billed as the “normal” sort of playtesting cycle. This is the testing for the first of their new Theme Books, so it’s centered around a subset of one single army faction, with a number of new thematic releases, as well as testing for the existing models in that theme. It’s bled over a bit to the rest of the faction on a few things, but they’ve still kept a pretty tight focus on what they want people playtesting/talking about.


However, by this point – and especially if you listen to some of the podcasts – people are beginning to feel exhausted by the playtesting cycle. For the last several, we’ve all been engaged and paying attention, and so I imagine at a whole lot of game stores around the world, people were playing playtest games and not “real” games of Warmachine Hordes.

Many people consider those game night games to be their practice for the few tournaments they get to play in every year; maybe a bigger number locally, and then a lot of people seem to make their way to a convention or three a year and play in bigger tournaments. Stuck in Alaska, that’s a lot harder for us; the people who get to road trip for a weekend to do it obviously have a much easier time of it.


Which brings me to us playing, locally. We really liked the new scenario rules in playing them, and the shift it brought to how the game progressed. However, most of the guys at game night are headed to the big Privateer Press convention in July, Lock & Load, and they found out that they will still be playing the “old” scenario rules there (in fact, it’s the last hurrah for those rules, and the new ones start the Monday after the con). So we played our playtest games, started to wrap our heads around the changes, and we’ve had to try to snap back to the “real rules” and play games so that they can practice before they travel and compete!

And I imagine this is the sort of thing that others are experiencing and feeling. There’s a time and a place for playtesting, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of not playing the core, “real” game. Changes have been coming fast at times in the playtest realm, and so the things you play might not remain at all for future games.

Indeed, the last lingering doubt we all seem to have is that we have not seen any “final” models out of the community playtest yet – the first ones will be out next month. So we’re assuming that this is progressing well, but the proof will be in the “real” rules that come out at the end of it.


Meaning it feels like there is a bit of a backlash against playtesting right now, right as they get into full swing of doing “normal” playtesting. Luckily, it’s a narrower focus with it being just one army involved (and whatever opponents they can rope into playing a playtest game), and by all expectations it’s my army, the Trollbloods, next – but again, still just one army). So we can all take a breather now and play more normal games.

So maybe they just did a bit too much full-community-engagement playtesting right from the get-go. Or maybe it has to do a bit with the old Privateer Press forums going away – so now the interesting forums to go to are the playtest forums.

Maybe it has to do especially for the podcasters with them trying to keep up with the news. The news used to be, hey we saw this art, or they announced this thing coming soon, or oh hey a whole new book is out with tons of legal rules (even though the models wouldn’t be out/legal often for a year or more) to go over. Now, all of those sorts of news items are happening through the playtesting – so trying to give the news and talk through rules, when they then change the following week and you’re about to podcast on them again and go through the minute changes and details… it’s perhaps a little disheartening. The podcasts very quickly seem to have dropped going into details about the changes and playtest model details – but with that, they’ve kind of generally lost the ability to talk about the news in a detailed way.

More than anything, this feels like growing pains. We’ll have a better sense of this all in about a month, when we see final rules after playtest. And then we’ll see if there’s something new to be concerned about!