WotC Con Schedule Will Not Include Gen Con

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Wizards of the Coast has announced their convention schedule for 2017 and despite adding a few new conventions this year I am sad to report that Gen Con will not be among them. Here is the current list of conventions they plan to attend in an official capacity.

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JAN 27-29, 2017 PAX SOUTH

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
900 E Market St.
San Antonio, TX

Chris Perkins and Trevor Kidd will be at PAX South at the end of this month. Chris will have the honor of delivering the key note Story Time with Chris Perkins on Friday morning, as well as stepping onto the main stage to serve as Dungeon Master for Acquisitions Incorporated, live for the first time from sunny San Antonio. Many Dungeons & Dragons games will be playable in the open gaming spaces scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League. We definitely won’t be playing in the basement of the Alamo, thankfully.

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FEB 1-5, 2017 WINTER FANTASY

Grand Wayne Convention Center
120 West Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN

Chris Lindsay will be returning to Fort Wayne for Winter Fantasy and will be available to speak about the D&D Adventurers League and Dungeon Masters Guild. We will debut a brand-new D&D Adventurers League EPIC by Will Doyle here, giving attendees the first chance to overcome new challenges and collect loot. Chris will be running unique D&D Adventurers League sessions with loot and magic items you can’t get anywhere else.

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MAR 10-12, 2017 PAX EAST

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
415 Summer Street
Boston, MA

Chris Perkins and Trevor Kidd will be in Boston at PAX East again this year. Chris will serve as Dungeon Master for another Acquisitions Incorporated live show with Mike, Jerry, Scott, and Pat. There will be many opportunities to play Dungeons & Dragons in the open gaming spaces of PAX scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League.

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MAR 23-26, 2017 GARY CON

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI
We’re heading back to Gary Con in Lake Geneva again this year! Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, and Chris Lindsay will be panelists in a discussion of D&D Across the Editions. Mike Mearls will be DMing a celebrity game using his Greyhawk house rules for 5e in one of the deadliest dungeons he’s run in his personal campaign: the dreaded Path of Blades. Mearls will also run a home brew horror RPG based on the Avalon Hill board game Betrayal at House on the Hill. Chris Lindsay will head up a host of Dungeon Masters as we present the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and the Tomb of Horrors as competitive events for the first time in decades. Also, don’t miss the EPIC designed by Chris Lindsay, featuring the Keep on the Borderlands.

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JUNE 14-18, 2017 ORIGINS GAME FAIR

Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N High Street
Columbus, OH
Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay, Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd, and Jeremy Crawford will be returning to Origins for the D&D tabletop gaming event of the year: The D&D Open. Bring your favorite Adventurers League character and risk life and limb to bring glory upon your adventuring party. We’ll also have D&D board game tournaments, exclusive DMs Guild panels, exclusive Origins swag, and even more!

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SEP 1-4, 2017 PAX WEST

Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA
Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd, and many more folks from the Dungeons & Dragons team will be at PAX West. Chris will be on panels and serving as Dungeon Master for the live Acquisitions Incorporated game with Jerry, Mike, Scott, and Pat. Many of us will be around in the Dungeons & Dragons area and there will be tons of opportunities to play D&D in the open gaming area scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League.

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SEPT 9-10, 2017 HASCON

Rhode Island Convention Center & Dunkin Donuts Center
1 La Salle Square & 1 Sabin St
Providence, RI
Join us in Providence for the debut of HASCON, a new convention event in September focusing on all of Hasbro’s brands including Transformers, My Little Pony, Magic the Gathering and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons! You will get to peek behind the curtain of our characters and stories through interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.

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NOV 2-5, 2017 GAMEHOLE CON

Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI
Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay will return to the Midwest in November for Gamehole Con in Madison. Mike and Chris will be attending panels, serving as Dungeon Masters in unique Adventurers League scenarios, and hanging out and answering any questions you might have.

Con list and descriptions courtesy of EN World & Wizards of the Coast Website

When I heard Wizards wasn’t attending Gen Con 2016 I somewhat got it, even if I disagreed with it. Wizards didn’t need to attend Gen Con to be “present” there. There will always be plenty of merchants hawking the newest D&D books, as always Dungeons and Dragons continues to have enough “word of mouth” power that they don’t really need to attend the largest tabletop gaming convention there is.

This year though? They aren’t attending Gen Con 50 in some capacity!? I find it frankly baffling. Why the biggest name in the game wouldn’t want to be present in some official capacity at the biggest con’s 50th anniversary is beyond me. Granted I’ve no special privilege to behind the scenes knowledge, but as a games lover… it rankles. I applaud the desire to spread the love to newer cons but Gen Con feels a bit hollow to some extent without Dungeons and Dragons having a full showing. Personally, I think they should have waited until after GC50 to make this move. At least it’s better they started last year then spring it on folks attending GC 50.

I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Am I being too unrealistic to want D&D at Gen Con in ways akin to years past, or am I spot on? Is it obvious I’m also simply saddened they won’t be attending the only con I can likely make it to this year? You be the judge!

-Melvs

Numenera: STRAND

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Numenera peaked my interest from day one. I loved that it was a bold new premise and that it launched an exciting new company of brilliant game designers with Monte Cook Games. I was on board from day one. I was a backer, I hit up the panel at Gencon (this was prior to me being the blogger you know today), and I played in one of the games that could’ve landed me in a game with Monte and Shanna themselves.

Ever since receiving my copy post Kickstarter I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every chance I’ve gotten to play, or run, the game. I’ve remarked a few times that Numenera is a game I struggle to run. The rules don’t get in the way, they have an endearing simplicity to them, I just have a hard time hitting the tone. I do feel I can play a character in that very well, one of the best con games I ever played was a Numenera game run by my buddy John at Acadecon 2015.

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My struggles with tone made me very excited for the topic of today’s article. Numenera STRAND is the realized work of Swedish filmmaker, and obvious Numenera fan, Joan Manuel Urquiaga Valdes. His Kickstarter run began a little less than a year ago, with the blessing of Monte Cook Games, and funded quickly. On January 3rd the fully produced short was finally completed. It is beautifully shot and has a weight to it that makes its short run time feel like double. For anyone, like myself, that struggles with tone something like this is an oasis. I can go on but you should really watch this yourself. That’s right, the finished product is not only for backers. The whole thing can be viewed on YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed the film as much as I did. It’s a great introduction to the world of Numenera overall. Kudos to MCG for assisting in the production and helping bring this into reality too. Loving most everything coming from them these days. Can’t wait to see what Invisible Sun looks like.

Tell me what you thought of the short in the comments below!

-Melvs

Meatfist’s Painting Panel – Featuring Madrak 3

Today we have a very special treat. “Meatfist” Mike, most famous for the pictures of his work in my Warmachine\Hordes Gallery, has taken pains to document the painting of his latest project, one of the newest additions to the Trollbloods Hordes line, Madrak, Great Cheiftan (a.k.a. Madrak 3). I’ll not spend too much time setting the post up though, let’s jump straight into the meat…of the article (I’m not sorry for that). Enjoy!

Hey everyone, I’m getting ready to paint another Hordes model from Privateer Press. This time, instead of just posting the final results, I am going to do things a little differently. I have decided to make a series of posts detailing the process as I paint Madrak, Great Chieftain (Madrak 3)!


Put him together,

After assessing all the pieces, I make sure they are all present. For a smaller model like this one it’s typically as easy as laying them all out (pictured above). Once I feel I’m not missing anything I’ll use a super glue to bond the pieces together. Personally I prefer to use Gorilla Glue brand super glue.


Begin with a layer of Primer,

Most of the time I use black primer, specifically Formula P3, on my Hordes minis.

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I use black for my Hordes minis because I don’t want their colors as bright as my Warmachine unit (Khador). Plus, if I miss some deep recessed parts while painting they missed portions are less visible. If you do want a brighter pop to your miniatures a white primer is a must.


Let the painting begin

I start out slow, and then pick up steam (no apologies for the Warmachine joke).

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I painted the rock and stone part of the shield Ironhull Grey. The inside of his mouth and eyes are Skorne Red. I used Necrotite Green on the runes on his shield and gauntlet to get a bright, “glowy” effect. Hopefully I can navigate around the smaller runes well enough to preserve them on later steps.


For the next part I made the leather parts of his boots and pants Bootstrap Leather, his teeth ‘Jack Bone, and his skin Trollblood Highlight since Madrak is an albino.

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The part that was difficult was his face behind the shield. The challenge in these situations is to figure out the correct angle to approach with the brush.\


This next part I focused on Madrak’s lower body. I used more Ironhull Grey for the rune stones that hang from his armor. I used Iosan Green on his Quitari Cloth, painting a Tartan Pattern free hand is beyond my abilities. For the metal parts I break my brand loyalty and use Citadel paints. I use Runefang Steel and Sycorax Bronze.


Didn’t paint a whole lot this time. Just hit the bits of leather padding poking out of his armor, and finished up his Quitari Cloth. Most trollkin wear their Quitari like a sash, but Madrak always seems to like to wrap himself up in it.

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Added a couple more colors, Rucksack Tan for the scroll and Beast Hide for the leather straps.

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Lots done here, even if it was mostly intricate parts. I finished up the scrolls and painted his quiver. I started on the right gauntlet. I needed to leave the spears in the quiver for last since I tend to hold the model there. If you look closely you will notice that some of the primer has worn away as a result.


Painted Madrak’s right gauntlet and spear. Managed to preserve the runes.

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Next step will be his shield. Painting the inside of a shield is a pain, so that’s where I will start.


Finished Madrak’s shield and quivered spears.

With this the base paint job is done other than some small touch ups.


Time for the home stretch

It’s not a great picture but I finally finished my touch-ups and applied a wash. I once again dipped into the Citadel paint line and used a brown wash called Agrax Earthshade. It makes some of the small details “pop” and makes the model appear somewhat dirtied.

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If you’re ever in need of a wash but haven’t actually purchased one simply choose the color you’d like and thin it with water. This will create a very thin colored water that allows the color to seep into nooks and crannies. There are tons of opinions on what makes a good wash out there. Find one that makes sense to you!


Just painting the base in this last step to make the front and back halves easy to identify. Made the front Trollblood Base and the back Thamar Black. I made the little template under the base in the picture, to help with facing, using the witchcraft known as “math“.

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Finishing the base means Madrak is officially painted, thanks for following along with me! I put a layer of watered down glue and sprinkled on some fine ballast, the kind of stuff that would be used on a model train set. Then, I put down some more glue and add some meadow blend flock.

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I hope you enjoyed my step by step painting guide, and the final outcome for that matter. I also hope you learned a thing or two. If you feel you have a better appraoch to one or more of the steps I’d love to hear from you. Just hit me up below. Now, nothing left to do but move on to the next model, after a bit of a break of course. See you next time!

-Meatfist

The 2017 Geekery New Year’s Address!

Welcome 2017! Also, welcome back to the Geekery. I’ve been absent for quite some time, I know, but I feel refreshed and ready to bring you all the gaming news, reviews, and tidbits from my day to day gaming you desire. There are plenty of things in the pipe for this year for potential changes to the site, I’ll get to those in a moment.

GIFTS!

I hope all my fellow gamers, who celebrate the holidays with gift giving, received gifts as cool as what I received. I figured I’d do a little bragging about these right up front, this is my blog and all.

Dungeonology

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This book is an interesting little bird (big thanks to my awesome sis in law for getting it for me!). Obviously it’s more for beginners or collectors of cool D&D books than for the use of a seasoned Dungeon Master, but it has some really cool features on the inside that bring me back to the days when the concepts of D&D were shiny and new. I’ll be giving this book a more thorough run down in a later post but it’s certainly a fun book to own. A great way to introduce new players to the concepts and challenges of a good dungeon delve.

Board Games!

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Sarah and I love them, and you can never have too many. This year we received two and an expansion to one. Sarah made out huge in the board game arena, Machi Koro is one of her all time favs and as much as we both love Smash Up she typically has the edge on me so our good buddy Jake got her the Pretty Pretty Expansion. We also received Forbidden Island, which if you’ve never tried it it’s a great game for introducing others to the newer generation of games, especially because it’s cooperative.

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Chessex Gaming Mat!

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Thanks go to Uncle Grumps for this bad boy. My old mat was tiny, and stained to Hell. We’ve been using a dry erase board for a while now. Awesome to have this now.

Dice and Dice Bags

So my sister in law and my mother in law teamed up here. My mother in law is an enormously talented crafter, who actually has a crafting business now that she has retired. Well, she took some time to make me a bunch of dice bags and then they got me a Big Bag of Dice so I can put together some dice bags to hand out to the kids in my Library games who don’t have dice yet! Giving me the ability to gift to others makes this probably one of the best gifts I received this year.

Cool Notebook

I saw this cool little journal in a hole in the wall bookstore that Sarah and I love to visit near our church. I mentioned offhandedly that someone could use such a thing to keep notes on gaming campaigns, and look nerdily cool whilst doing so. She bought the thing right under my nose. I tried to take a pic of the note she wrote me but It’s hard to get it in focus. It reads:

Kevin,

With love and admiration, I give you this journel to keep your adventures, creativity, and words of a world full of wonder! Best wishes on all your journeys beyond our realms.

Love,

Your wife Sarah

I’m a lucky guy ♥.

Secret Gift

There’s one gift I’m not going to picture just yet but will at a later date. Suffice it to say it’s my favorite and I hope to premier it at Gen Con 50. May have tipped you off with that last sentence though ;P.

IN GAMING NEWS

I haven’t spent much time talking about it but I’ve been running a game of Storm King’s Thunder for my group. It’s been a pretty fun experience so far, even if we have been plagued by the inability to truly string together consistent play time (people have lives apparently 😛). Despite our issues getting together we’ve moved along at a decent clip, just now beginning the gargantuan chapter three. It’ll be a challenging portion of the game, for a pre-made, there’s a lot of information for the would-be Dungeon Master to digest and organize for the players but, it’ll also be the most sandbox portion of the adventure and my players will certainly dig that. After all, it took a lot of convincing to get them to take a ride in Zephryos’ Tower (and after they were aboard they mentioned if they’d know about the wizard hat that crowned the thing they would have flat out refused on principle lol).

A couple of cool things about this campaign in general is that one of my players, Nick (you may know him as Uncle Grumps from his previous contribution efforts), is running a descendant from a game we played together back in our High School days. In fact the way I got their party to board Zephryos’ flying tower was by having my old character (still alive because..elf) be already aboard and waiting to meet the grandson of Rizzen the Great. Another cool aspect of the game is the return of an old friend to our gaming group who’s been out of state for a long time as he is in the Navy. Somehow he landed a recruitment position here in Missouri and we are all very thankful to have him back with us.

I continue to run my once a month game at the local library for teens interested in learning about D&D and I’m happy to say that, despite the fact I still run the game for about 10-15 kids at a time, the legacy players are getting really adept at the game and are very capable of assisting newcomers. There were a number of times in the recent past I couldn’t make it to a session and they had no issue picking up the slack and running a game themselves. I’m now entering my third year of doing this and I’m happy to report that I’m probably not even necessary at this point. Still, I love going and the kids are enjoying my run through of Hoard of the Dragon Queen so I’ll keep at it! Now that I have some extra Dice Bags to hand out I can’t wait to see the kids again.

COMING SOON IN 2017

There are so many cool things coming this year that I’ll likely forget a bunch while putting them to print here. I’ll give it a go though.

CONS

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Right off the bat I feel I need to mention Geekway to the West 2017. The 13th Annual Geekway to the West is set for May 18-21, 2017 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. If you love Board Games I can’t name a better convention to attend. They’ve only got a little over 400 badges remaining though, and considering badges went on sale on January 2nd they will sell out, and fast. For $60 you can attend the con all four days, you receive a random free board game (a quality one at that, twice now the game I received had a Market Price that matched my badge fee), and so much more. Seriously check out the site, make the trip and visit me in Missouri.

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Gen Con 50 folks. I fully intend to be there this year and, with a  little pressure and luck, I might bring a few buddies with me this time (buddies beyond what twitter and the blog have helped me garner that is).

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Really, Acadecon is one of the best little big cons out there. I truly wish I’d of been able to make it to Acadecon 2016, but I wasn’t going to miss the wedding of a good friend. Two of my best friends are getting married to some awesome gals in the fall of 2017, one wedding is in late October and then the other takes place the week after Acadecon 2017 so chances might be thin I can make it but I’m sure going to try! I love the good folks of the RPG Academy Network and the other attendees of this Con are fantastic as well. Here’s hoping!

GAMERSTABLE PODCAST COMING TO A CLOSE

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After years of podcasting, and 300 episodes, the Gamerstable Podcast is ending its run. Back when I first started really getting into the world of folks gabbing about tabletop RPGs on social media it seemed crazy to me that regular folks were coming together and podcasting about this game I love so much. First it was the Monkey in the Cage podcast who really welcomed me into the fold (I will always have a special place in my heart for Matt, Robert, Karen, and Ramses) but soon to follow was a crazy group of gamers who I was surprised to find lived just across the river in Illinois. Matt Fuller introduced me to them, and they didn’t have to give me the time of day. Instead they became close friends.

The Gamerstable Podcast has put forth some of the coolest content over its run. Frankly I find their style of taking actual play content and editing it to sound like a radio drama to be the best in the business. That’s beyond the discussion roundtable style they cut their teeth on though, and you can find a ton of great gaming advice throughout their many episodes. Plus, I’ve always enjoyed their bite sized chunks (most eps. are about 30 mins in length). Feel free to catch their last episode here, and when you’re done check the rest of the site.

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I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that this won’t be the complete disappearance of what I call the “Gamerstable Crew”. Eric Austley, the initiator and leader for Gamerstable, is going to pour more of his energy into his newest project that builds on the success of the Actual Plays put out by Gamerstable. Openly Gamer Theater currently houses a ton of great content and will more than likely feature many of the voices you heard over the years on Gamerstable too! Also, OGT is a yet another proud member of the RPG Academy Network, so you know it’s quality.

STUFF FOR MY SITE

So I need to pull this article to a close and nothing fits better than detailing a few things about the site!

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In late 2016 Privateer Press increased its level of involvement with my site for review of their materials and this means I will hopefully have even more Warmachine\Hordes models and products to review going into 2017. To help with this Nick, a.k.a. Uncle Grumps, has made mention of the desire to continue writing pieces on various items associated with WarmaHordes, and hopes to even run something big for our group of players. Also, if you’ve paid attention to the photo gallery on my Warmachine\Hordes page on the site you will have likely seen some of Mike “The Meatfist” Bortz’s excellent work painting his miniatures. Not only will he continue to send me photos of his art but he has promised me a step by step painting guide of one of the newer models to come out for the Trollbloods hordes unit, Madrak, Great Chieftain (Madrak 3). I hope to unveil this soon! Lastly, Topher has been talking about throwing a post or two on here about board games, an excellent candidate for such a thing. I hope he can get around to it (he is getting married this year, me might be somewhat busy).

Here’s to some great gaming in 2017! If you feel I missed some news, hit me up in the Comments. What are you excited about this year?

-Melvs

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine & Hordes New Releases for November 2016

*Hey everyone, I’m pleased to announce the debut article from a good friend of mine, Nick, a.k.a. Uncle Grumps. The guy simply knows more than I do about Warmachine/Hordes. He’s the guy who introduced me and he’s a driving force for why I still play. I think I even beat him once. So whether he’s Krushing you with Khador, Mincing you with Mercs or Minions, PLASTERING you with Protectorate of Meno… you know what… just please enjoy his article. – Melv

What’s up, Jerks? This is Uncle Grumps and I’m here to talk about Warmachine/Hordes.

First of all, an introduction is in order.  I’ve known Melvin since grade school, and yes, I do have an endless amount of embarrassing stories I could divulge.  I started playing Warmachine/Hordes in 2009 and immediately fell in love.  My main factions are Khador, Mercenaries, and Minions.  I also have a small smattering of Protectorate of Menoth and Cryx.  I would consider myself to be a casual player, although I have played in my fair share of local tournaments.  Since I’m a bit more knowledgeable about WarmaHordes than Melvin, I’ve agreed to help him out with a series of articles to showcase the game.  In other words, I’ve hijacked Mel’s website and he’s not getting it back.

Today, I want to take a quick look at two recently released solos.  First up is Major Harrison Gibbs, a mercenary model that works only for Cygnar and is a Partisan for that faction.  From Privateer Press’ website:

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Available as of 11/09/2016

MP $14.99

 “A natural survivor and ruthless pragmatist, the man known as Gibbs is as capable on the battlefield as any professional soldier. As a cook in a Cygnaran trencher company, Gibbs was stranded behind enemy lines and was forced to adapt to survive.  Wearing the uniform of a dead officer, he introduced himself not as a cook but as Trencher Major Harrison Gibbs and has become a vital member of the Llaelese Resistance.”

Quite a backstory, eh?  Major Gibbs’ model is full of small, characterful details that reflect this background, such as the frying pan and spatula tied to his pack or the holes worn in his scavenged overcoat.

A glance at the front of Gibbs’ card reveals a stat line that is thoroughly average.  His speed, MAT, RAT, defense, armor, and command are all middle of the road.  Gibbs wields a standard military rifle with one notable exception.  When you make an attack with his rifle you can choose one of two attack types: a standard rifle shot or an AOE 3 POW 10 grenade shot.  Gibbs is also packing a club with middling range and damage but crit brutal damage for a bit of extra oomph.  Top it off with Assault and Tough, and you have a solo that isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

The back of Gibbs’ card contains a plethora of useful abilities.  Dodge allows him to advance 2” after an enemy attack misses him.  Feign Death means he cannot be targeted by ranged or magic attacks while he is knocked down.  Gibbs also has Reposition (3”) which allows him to advance 3” after an activation in which he did not run or charge.  His Leadership (Llaelese) ability grants Feign Death and Reposition (3”) to any Llaelese warrior models in Gibbs’ command range.  For now, the only models with the Llaelese keyword are Ashlynn d’Elyse, Anastasia di Bray, Gastone Cross, Groman Di Wulfe, Ragman, Sgt Nicolas Verendrye, the Thorn Gun Mages and Gibbs himself.  However this is likely to change once Privateer releases a Highborn Covenant-style Llaelese theme force.  Last, but certainly not least, is the Hot Meal ability.  This ability allows Gibbs fully heal all friendly, living, Faction, warrior models in his command range once per game.  Yes, this includes your Warcaster.

Major Gibbs is an interesting collection of survival and buffing abilities.  His synergy with Ashlynn is obvious.  Giving the speedy Warcaster Feign Death, Reposition (3”) and the option to fully heal once per game is huge.  He can also grant these abilities to key Llaelese support solos like Gorman or Ragman.  As great as his buffing potential is, you shouldn’t discount his combat prowess.  His ability to throw out 3” POW 10 AOE’s and then Reposition out of harms way can be devastating to clumped groups of warrior models.  As of right now, Gibbs has more to offer a Mercenary army than a Cygnaran force, but I foresee that changing in the future.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Privateer released a Cygnaran Trencher theme force that features Gibbs.

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A placeholder as Grumps paints

 

The other solo we’ll be taking a look at today is the Blighted Nyss Warlord from the Legion of Everblight.  From Privateer Press’ website:

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Available as of 11/09/2016

MP $14.99

“The warlords of Everblight’s Legion enter combat armed with the double-bladed claymore – a weapon requiring remarkable dexterity and coordination to wield. With it, a blighted Nyss warlord scythes through enemy ranks, severing heads and limbs alike with blinding strikes.”

The Warlord is a melee combat monster.  His stat line is average for a solo except for his low RAT and exceptional MAT.  His double claymore boasts the same range and damage as the swords of the Blighted Nyss Swordsmen along with the Weapon Master ability.  The back of the card is where things really start to get interesting.  The Warlord’s first listed ability is Blade Shield which gives him +2 DEF against ranged attacks.  This provides a slight increase in survivability but a concentrated effort can still take them down at range.  Next up is Cleave which grants the Warlord one additional attack if he destroys an enemy model with a melee attack.  When this is combined with Overtake, which lets the Warlord advance 1” after destroying an enemy model, it gives the Warlord to strike multiple targets at unexpected angles.  The Warlord also has Precision Strike which allows his controller to choose the column or branch damaged when attacking warjacks or warbeasts.  He also grants Blighted Nyss Swordsmen in his command range Precision Strike thanks to his Leadership ability.  Finally, the Warlord’s double claymore has the Decapitation ability.  This doubles any damage that exceeds the ARM of the target.  All of this combines to make the Blighted Nyss Warlord a veritable killing machine.

You’d hard pressed to find a Legion army that couldn’t benefit from a Warlord or two.  Thagrosh, the Messiah can empower Warlords to hit harder and more accurately with Manifest Destiny.  The extra attack and placement from Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight’s feat can help a Warlord to get even more out of Overtake.  You may find it challenging to deliver the Warlord into melee, especially after your opponent sees the havoc it can wreak on his or her models.  A Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew can help ensure the Warlord arrives intact and ready to rock.

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A placeholder as Grumps paints.

 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’m moving Gibbs and the Warlord to the front of my painting queue.  Hopefully I’ll have some photos to share soon.  Feel free to post any comments or questions you may have.  Complaints can go straight to Melvin.  ‘Til next time, folks!

– Uncle Grumps

D&D Inducted into Toy Hall of Fame

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For 42 years people of all ages have found themselves seated around a table with a group of friends crafting stories and rolling dice as they adopted new adventurous personas. Yesterday I received the news from Wizards of the Coast that the original Tabletop Roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons was to be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. Games are imbedded into our daily lives these days. Even if you have never played D&D or one of the thousands of other tabletop roleplaying games out there, you likely grew up playing videos games, or have been introduced to games via your smart devices. We take the style of games these days for granted, not knowing that so many of the “common” game concepts we utilize stem directly from D&D. The idea of a character having a pool of health points, accepting a quest of some sort, and most evident of all gaining experience points and becoming stronger for it. These were all originated in this 42 year old product.

Here is the official press release:

It’s been 42 years in the making! Today, we’re excited to announce Dungeon & Dragons as a 2016 inductee to the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum for Play in Rochester, NY. Since it was first published in 1974, Dungeons & Dragons has inspired millions of gamers to create stories and adventures and it has brought people from all backgrounds together to share those experiences.

Director of D&D at Wizards of the Coast, Nathan Stewart, was in Rochester to accept the award and witness history, as D&D was officially inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. It is not just a proud moment for Wizards of the Coast, but also for parent company, Hasbro. John Frascotti, president of Hasbro Brands said, “Dungeons & Dragons embodies Hasbro’s goal of creating the world’s best play and entertainment experiences and we are extremely proud to see D&D be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame alongside many other brands in our portfolio like Twister, Candy Land, The Game of Life, Mr. Potato Head and the Easy-Bake Oven. D&D has enabled fans to create their own stories for more than 40 years and we look forward to continuing to inspire imaginations by providing amazing play experiences.”

These long time players and fans of the brand at Wizards of the Coast were elated by the nomination, noting:

“D&D has become a rite of passage for children of a creative temperament. It’s incredible to think that what started as the marriage of tabletop wargames and pulp fantasy novels has become the iconic storytelling pastime for multiple generations.” ­­Mike Mearls, lead designer, Dungeons & Dragons

“Perhaps the greatest innovation of Dungeons & Dragons is that it provides a way to play pretend with rules. I think when older kids and adults discover the game, they tap into a style of play from early childhood that they’ve forgotten. The game unleashes the individual imagination of each player while, at the same time, it draws them together to tell a story. You can discover a lot about yourself and each other in a very short time and in a fun way. Friendships that last a lifetime frequently form while playing Dungeons & Dragons.” – Matt Sernett, game designer

“Dungeons & Dragons is not just a game – its legacy has been a part of our culture for generations. But perhaps its most important influence is with the positive impact it has made on children and adults in the form of enhanced social, math, analytical, reading, writing, and creative skills and friendships that have lasted for decades. It is an honor to be part of a team that continues to fuel an inextinguishable spark of imagination for years to come.” – Shelly Mazzanoble, associate brand manager, Wizards of the Coast

For more information on the 2016 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductee ceremony, please check out http://dnd.wizards.com/ or http://www.toyhalloffame.org/.

Congratulations are certainly in order, and a big thank you from me. D&D has had an immense impact on my life.

-Melvs

Continued Absense

I received a message from a follower of the blog inquiring where I’ve been. I wanted to assure everyone I’m still out here, I’ve just taken a bit of a break from the blog until life cools down a bit. I’ve been very busy! Hopefully I can get back to writing soon. Thank you all for your patience.

-Melvs

P.S. I hope everyone going to Acadecon this weekend has a blast! I’ll be thinking of you all while I enjoy the wedding festivities of a good friend of mine.

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine & Hordes New Releases for September & October 2016

Here are some of the fall releases for the tabletop skirmishes wargame Warmachine and Hordes from Privateer Press!

RETRIBUTION OF SCYRAH

LYS HEALER

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Available as of 09/07/2016

MP $11.99

Love it when I can get a little love for Retribution! On first look the Lys Healer doesn’t really shine as a must have unit, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be very effective in the right circumstances. A very temperamental solo to say the least. Her Power of Faith ability will help against knockdown effects and we Retribution fellows tend to hate those. A feature I tend to like is her Move to Assist, this gives her a ton of movement range on the field and can possibly get her right in the thick of a spot where she’s needed. She’s going to be burden to some lists but unless you need her she’s a bit of a point soak.

 comes with the following abilities:

  • Heal
  • MAGIC ABILITIES
    • Power of Faith (*Action)
    • Purifying Prayer (*Action)
  • Move to Assist
  • Soul Ward

TROLLBLOODS

NORTHKIN SHAMAN

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Available as of 09/07/2016

MP $23.99

The Northkin Shaman seems like a interesting beast. The longer I look at this unit, and I’m not a Trollblood guy, I’m seeing the most useful feature being its Freak Storm magic ability that not only allows for a cloud effect of a sizeable margin but also allows for the Northkin Shaman to teleport a distance away from where it stood upon casting the effect. If you have the faction allotted amount of two of these you can really wreck up some line of sight. Having a decent ARM and a fair number of boxes may give it some sustainability unless someone gets serious about taking it down.

If you do find yourself not churning out AoE cloud effects every turn the Northkin Shaman can pack a decent punch with the magical ability Frostbite or can control the board a bit by lowering defense with Cold Snap, a magical ability that gives enemies the Chiller effect.

The Northkin Shaman has the following abilities:

  • Battle Wizard
  • MAGIC ABILITIES
    • Cold Snap (*Action)
    • Freak Storm (*Action)
    • Frostbite (*Action)

CRYX

SATYXIS GUNSLINGERS

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Available as of 10/12/2016

MP $24.99

Now here are some nasty ladies. Stats are all average, even for their double Magelock Pistols, but their abilities are where they really begin to shine. One especially nasty ability is their Blood Mist attack. If I recall correctly Blood Mist, an attack type that turns boxed enemies into a sizable cloud effect AoE, used to only work against living units. I noticed on this card though it now effects living or undead models. Not sure if you put two and two together but I can see a few shots being taken against some of your own units if it proves more favorable to put them down for a cloud effect! The group also houses the Black Penny as an attack type, always a nice feature for any ranged unit to ignore that melee DEF Bonus.

If this group finds itself in a melee situation, not advised, they aren’t without tricks. Using their horns, and an average MAT, they can do a bit of damage. What you are really hoping for is the critical because they pack a Critical Knockdown ability as well.

The Satyxis Gunslingers have the following abilities:

  • MAGELOCK PISTOL
    •  Black Penny
    • Blood Mist
    • Feedback
  • HORNS
    • Critical Knockdown

That’s all for now folks! be sure to visit my Warmachine and Hordes page to find photos of painted figures and other posts about this great game and the spinoff roleplaying games Iron Kingdoms and Unleashed.

-Melvs

 

 

Storm King’s Thunder

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Since the onset of 5th edition Wizards of the Coast has endeavored to bring us grand adventure concepts, Dragons, Devils, Demons, a villain of legend. In Storm King’s Thunder they certainly don’t go smaller in scale, and I’m not just talking about the physical size of the main adversaries either. Even beyond the size of the giants faced throughout we are faced with the Savage Frontier, one of the most enormous untamed regions in all of the Forgotten Realms, and a tale as big as any Shakespearean drama. Something is amiss with the giants of the land, they are simply out of control. The characters may be dwarfed in size but someone will have to help stop the madness, the smallfolk must be put to the task.

Storm King’s Thunder represents the fifth such Super Adventure produced by Wizards of the Coast since the switch to it’s 5th Edition of the game. In the past many of these adventures included heavy involvement from third party game makers, like Kobold Press or Sasquatch Game Studio. This time, beyond having additional assistance from the whole WotC team & Forgotten Realms elite R.A. Salvatore, this story is almost exclusively Chris Perkins’ baby. Frankly it is yet another strong entry into the Super Adventure pool of games available for DMs to run for their player. I’m excited to say I’ll be running it myself.

Quality of the Product

Now that their are five adventures, spread over six books, I can really start to showcase these books on my shelf. I’ve put some of these books through the ringer too. Lent them to kids at the Library, paged through them multiple times, and they have really held up well over the years. I have no reason to suspect this new addition to the ranks will fare any worse.

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The artwork isn’t just pretty to look at. The art team recognized it’s duty to really add to the grand feeling to it all. As mentioned above, the story structure of this adventure has a real Shakespearean feel to it, and they did well to bring that feeling to the page with some amazing two page spreads and some we fleshed major players.

The Campaign

The course of this campaign will bring characters from level one to level ten and beyond. It is interesting to note that, without giving too much away, the problems being faced here all stem from a major shift among the race of giants themselves. The players represent the smallfolk of the world trying desperately to save themselves from that fall out, and it may just require issuing a helping hand to some giants themselves to return some order. Things will get very messy for the more diminutive races of the world if they don’t step in.

A quick read through of this adventure makes it feel a mite linear but there are actually several points where the characters will be choosing a path that, while not changing the story as a whole, certainly offer a different perspective. Things are not as Sandbox driven as the previous two installments, but I honestly can’t see why the players would care. If they are interested in helping out the choice to continue this adventure is never going to feel forced, it really does flow very well.

giantslayer

Additional Content

I want to give a particular shout out to the layout of this book and to some specific design choices. I love that right at the beginning of the book the DM is given a rundown on the main NPCs for their arsenal. This “Dramatis Personae” section is a two page breakdown of the NPCs, each getting a brief description and direction to where in the book you can find more information on them. I’m also a huge fan of the Adventure Flowchart, for a quick reference of the various chapters each portion of this book has and for information on what level your characters should likely be when they get there. I wish I could show this, but that would be a bit of a spoiler for those prepping to play this game.

The Appendixes are very helpful for the DM, as one would expect. Of these Appendix A is the most interesting as it gives helpful advice on how to bridge other adventures into this one. I particularly like the way they suggest weaving Out of the Abyss and Storm King’s Thunder together.

A glaring omission for Storm King’s Thunder is the lack of any character options at all. To me it has become apparent that WotC has made the decision to allow the Dungeon Master’s guild be the main resource for players, and by that I mean if we want player option we have to make them ourselves. I was really hoping for at least some new character backgrounds for the Savage Frontier. The closest we get to something like that is a section at the beginning of Chapter 3 that adds details to the denizens of the Savage Frontier. I will note that while writing this I asked Chris Perkins himself about the decision not to include character options this time around and he directed me to the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. I need to actually look at this book, pretty sure it’s the only one Wizards didn’t send me for review.

In Conclusion

Another solid outing. I continue to be impressed by the content WotC is churning out, if a bit let down that it is solely focused on selling to the Dungeon Master. This adventure shows me that while Wizards can utilize third party studios really well for great content, they don’t need them. There are some excellent, creative, minds at work in this company. I’m excited to see what comes next!

-Melvs