#RPGaDAY 2017

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AUGUST 1 – WHAT PUBLISHED RPG DO YOU WISH YOU WERE PLAYING RIGHT NOW?

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Frankly I’d love to be playing any RPG at any time but there is one published product line out there at the moment that I’d love to check out above the others. Tales from the Loop comes to us from creator Free League Publishing (aka Fria Ligan). The very successful Kickstarter is one I somehow missed out on and have been lamenting it ever since.  I find this project very intriguing because the art and concept for the world actually predate the roleplaying game, stemming from the excellent crowdfunded project by Simon Stålenhag.

The world is an alternate version of the 1980’s with retro type tech and stylistic choices reminiscent of Stranger Things and E.T. In fact I’d probably thank Stranger Things for playing at least a small role in making this project even more enticing to backers. I really want to dive into this world and see what kind of character or story-line I can drum up. Looks like you can now pre-order the paperback rulebook, set to come out in September. Here’s hoping someone notices it on my wish list! My birthday is August 14th after all!

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AUGUST 2 – WHAT IS AN RPG YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE PUBLISHED?

Harry Potter. Now, I know there are a few decent homebrew versions of a Harry Potter Tabletop RPG, but I’d love to see the real deal get published. Certainly some mountains would need moving, because it’s got to be wildly expensive to license anything out of that world, but I hold out hope that something official will come our way.

Inherently there are balance issues associated with any kind of combat system, but I’ve never exactly been attracted to the world of Harry Potter for its wand fights. I want to role-play in that realm and an official tabletop rpg would likely bring even more lore into the Harry Potter space. Maybe they start things out with rules for going to school at Hogwarts (or other schools) and expand into the world as a whole later, or maybe we are introduced to everything all at once. Just give me an official product to work off of!

AUGUST 3 – HOW DO YOU FIND OUT ABOUT NEW RPGS?

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Almost exclusively through twitter but I also have access to some great podcasts these days. Namely through my association with The RPG Academy Network. The RPG Academy Podcast itself is a great place to find new games, namely through listening to their excellent Show and Tell series.

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Another great Podcast for catching new stuff is She’s a Super Geek. They typically grab a new game for a one shot every episode so it gets you some great insight into games you might never of heard about.

 

AUGUST 4 – WHICH RPG HAVE YOU PLAYED THE MOST SINCE AUGUST 2016?

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Just plain ol’ Dungeons and Dragons 5e, nothing too outrageous. I ran a few games for my home group (namely Storm King’s Thunder) and, in turn they ran a game here and there. Even when my home group wasn’t playing a game I still had my monthly gaming with my library kids to count on. We’ve been playing through Horde of the Dragon Queen forever! What can you expect when you’re running a game once a month, AND for 15 Player Characters, it’s going to take some time ;P.

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There have been a few dalliances into other product lines though. One of my favorites this year was running a game of FAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG, showcasing their excellent starter campaign A Garden in Hell, for a select group of my library teens. We even broadcast the event over twitch, to 10’s of people! I messed up and didn’t get an actual video recording sadly. I do have the audio, should probably do something with that sometime. I also got to play a few Dreamchaser games, and even a game of Bedlam Hall.

 

For me I would still say this was a slow year for gaming. Hope I can pick it up soem over the next few months. My buddy Mike is running a 4th Edition game at the moment. I’m pretty stoked about that!

-Melvs

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Grymkin: The Wicked Harvest

Hey everyone! I know I haven’t written a lot lately but, I’m back in the action. I want to let you all know that my good friends over at The RPG Academy have once again been nominated for an ENnie Award for Best Podcast! You would make me the happiest bearded guy if you’d saunter on over and throw a vote their way. Here’s where to go and VOTE. Under each option are the numbers 1-5, be sure to mark The RPG Academy number 1 before voting! While you are there please also consider a vote for Spirit of 77 — A Very Special Episode: Masterpiece 77 under Best Electronic Book as well. Lastly, in the absence of my own blog, sadly no nomination this year, I’d gladly recommend Gnome Stew as an option :). Now, on to my review of the excellent Grymkin line of Hordes! 

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Privateer Press has given us some new toys. That’s right, the new Hordes faction that has been teased at conventions and online has finally come to fruition and I have to say it’s grabbed my interest. The characters in the Grymkin line look ripped from the darker recesses of nursery rhyme lore, a child leading a beast named “Dolly”, pigs astride wasted men, and a carriage cart adorned with ringing bells. Yeah, this stuff is pretty dark!

One thing Privateer Press does, that I feel overshadows any other tabletop wargame, is carefully address the lore of their world. Everything has immense backstory, and it all fits well in the world without getting too wildly out of place. When I first saw the package that had arrived at my door, with these strange looking models and the Forces of Hordes book with dark fantasy artwork adorning its pages, it took me a moment to realize it was a Hordes faction. I was kind of concerned, I thought it looked a mite out of place for the Iron Kingdoms. Once I dove into the source material though, my fears were immediately assuaged.

Cast down to the hells of Urcaen by Menoth long ago, the Defiers and their grymkin armies have risen again to punish the wicked across all of Immoren. Freed by the Old Witch, Zevanna Agha, the Defiers now work toward their own ends. Each is a self-made godlike being who wields uncanny power to reap what is due from the corrupted denizens of Caen. The harvest of the damned will not end so long as the hearts of humankind remain tainted and debased.

Basically what the smart folks at Privateer Press have done is to weave a living nursery rhyme into their world. Perhaps cautionary tales the small folk of the Iron Kingdoms told their children at night to teach them lessons about disobedience. I especially love the mention of how people would issue worship to these Defiers in order to hopefully appease them into leaving them be. So in the end I find myself loving the lore as much as I always have.

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In any event, as much as I can find myself enjoying the well written backstories of these models the main question comes to mind, how well do they stand on the battlefield? Thanks to the new Card Database I can look up every unit (currently availiable) now, not just the models given to me for review! One of the biggest changes people will notice comes from the fact that Grymkin Warlocks (the Defiers) do not come with Feats. Instead they have what are called Arcana. Each Warlock is issued three Arcana at the start of the game, one must be an Arcana unique to them while the other two are chosen from a list of available ones. With rare exception Arcana is something triggered by an event on the enemy turn and are typically less powerful effects than Feats, but you get three. I like this variant of the Feat because it gives some variety that you don’t always see with Warlocks and Warcasters.

The units, solos and warbeasts are not just cool looking nursery rhyme horrors that want to scoop your eyes out with spoons, they also pack a punch on the table! I was personally handed two Grymkin model sets. The Hollowmen & Lantern Man and a lil’ ol’ Glimmer Imp.

First up, the Glimmer Imp

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So fresh off the floor that Privateer Press doesn’t even have a blurb about them yet. The Glimmer Imp is very scary in theme, I mean he scoops eyes out with spoons (and you thought I was joking above). This solo has a pretty good Def and four boxes of health but it’s not really meant to be around for long. It has a Paralyzing Gaze that gives enemy units in its command range a -2 to Def and when successful on attacks the debuffs granted by Eye Thief are nasty. It gives the model Blind for one round. With only a MAT of 5 the chances of hitting someone is somewhat slim, add in a PC of 4 and I’m not entirely sure how often you would field this model but jamming it into the ranks of a high Def unit to lower their Def by 2 might just be worth it.

Next up, Hollowmen & Lantern Man

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Available as of 07/19/2017

MP $49.99

From Privateer Press’ site:

Cowards who flee their posts in war their comrades do betray. Lured by golden lantern light, they die while off astray.

Deserters often follow the alluring glow of a strange lantern as they stumble through the dark—and perish. They rise again as empty husks, stripped of hate and fear. Now they bear rifles and march beneath that lantern in the ranks of the Hollowmen.

This unit and its commander are an interesting lot. I’m wondering if Grymkin are going to thrive on mostly cool abilities over high MATs and RATs, remains to be seen as I haven’t delved into every card just yet. Our Hollowmen have a low MAT of 5 but do get to make use of Apparition to get them 2″ closer to their prey and Brutal Charge to give them that +2 to damage rolls after using a much needed charge. The addition of the Lantern Man, who of course also packs Apparition, is where they get interesting though. He grants his unit a special effect called Blood-Bound that essentially allows for destroyed models in that unit a chance to come back into the fray if they star killing off enemy models. The Lantern Man can also use his Ghost Light special magical attack from up to 10″ away to take control of a living model (non-warcaster\warlock) for the turn and even move it up to 3″ before doing whatever nastiness is intended. To top things off the Lantern Man can keep using Obscuring Mist to conceal the unit until the moment they want to strike, ensuring they aren’t immediately the targets of ranged fire before they can close in. Certainly a unit to worry yourself over if it’s up against you. The only thing about this unit that scares me personally (someone who still crumbles under timed turns at times) is using Apparition, moving an entire unit 2″ in my Control phase seems a mite daunting.

I love this faction, love it so much I might abandon my plans to make my Hordes faction be Legion of Everblight. Though, I must admit at this point my love might be pure shininess of a new toy and admiration of the lore. I need to take a deeper dive to see if the way these guys play will be my style or not. I have no doubt they will slip into play easily alongside the other factions available. Kudos Privateer Press, your new faction looks great!

-Melvs

Find all your new Grymkin products at Miniature Market (located in my hometown of St. Louis!) and if you want to buy me the Army Box just let them know I can pick it up in person ;P

 

 

Aggressive Ovens and Aggravating Cattle Pens: Hoyuk

Hey everyone! Today I have the pleasure of introducing a new contributor to the site. Shane is a fellow teacher at my wife’s school who runs the gifted program. He has built a fair portion of his program around board gaming, with no small amount of help from my wife Sarah. So when the MAGE Company sent me a couple of board games to review I knew I should send at least one of them his way to have for his kids. In return he offered to write the review, and after reading it I feel like I’d probably do a disservice if I had attempted to do the same. Shane wrote a strong review below.  If anyone else feels they would like their games reviewed by Shane let me know and we can work something out in order to put more copies in his classroom! -Melvs

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Synopsis

In Hoyuk, players compete to develop blocks of families within a grid-based map. To do this, they lay down tile houses and wooden meeples representing resources. Each turn progresses from building (twice) to executing catastrophic scenario cards, awarding aspect cards for holding more resources than opponents, and then aspect card replenishment.

Dwellings are arranged by players in families (groups of one tribe) that are grouped together in blocks (groups of different families). While building, based on cards drawn twice per turn, each player attempts to have more of each resource (cattle, villagers, shrines, ovens, and pens) than his neighbors in each individual block. Controlling a resource in a block earns you aspect cards which can then be used to purchase more resources to place or victory points. Victory points are tracked on the outer border of the game board and determine the winner after all houses have been placed. A block doesn’t qualify for awarding aspect cards until it contains more than one family, which is an interesting and necessary mechanic.

Catastrophes are random events selected by cards and occur once a turn to work against the players, separating blocks and families and removing houses from the game. The shaman piece, however, can protect a block from these penalties and is placed using a construction card.

The intricacies of the block/ family dynamic are important and should be read  and discussed carefully before the game starts. This may seem like a given but there are some intricacies that are subtle and less obvious, like the splitting of families due to ruined houses, placement of houses in existing blocks, or the inability to connect blocks.

There are three levels of play ranging from 3 aspects judged per block (shrines, ovens, and pens) to 7 aspects judged (shrines, ovens, pens, stories, houses, cattle, and villagers) and there is an option to play with fewer than 25 houses speed up the game. It was nice to have these options outlined, but the full game is so much richer in strategy and not so long that the shorter versions seem necessary. A 60 minute play time, as suggested by the box, is pretty accurate from our trials. Honestly, even in a full game with all aspects and houses, I found myself wishing we could continue.

Classroom Application

As a gifted education teacher, I ask 3 things when I try a new game with my students;

  1. Do you need to be adaptive in coming up with a strategy?
  2. Is communication necessary, or at least helpful, to succeed?
  3. Will we be able to play this again with different results?

When my students and I journeyed back “some 10,000 years ago” with Hoyuk by Mage Company, we were able to answer a resounding “yes” to all these questions.

Some potential strategies to attempt were obvious after reading through the rules and the clear choices proved to be effective, but those who adapted to the placement of their opponents’ structures, negotiated with neighbors, and attempted multiple approaches benefited far more than those who chose an approach and dogmatically stuck to it.

I loved the communication aspect of this game, despite its lack of necessity during some playthroughs. Whereas communication can be brief and cold in some games that require or encourage trading, the negotiation in Hoyuk enhances the game and requires players to be tactful and clever. It is legitimately possible to be sneaky, supportive, underhanded, generous, or ambivalent in your diplomacy with neighbors and all these approaches have a place in seeking the most victory points.

Comparatively speaking, most games of this type seem restrictive in how far you can bend your conversation. That said, we finished a couple playthroughs with barely a word of discussion. It is hard to say communication is a necessary component, but imagine a game of Settlers of Catan with no trading. It would be possible, but far less engaging and entertaining.

After playing the game with 4 different groups of students of varying grade levels, I saw different results each time. Approaches worked for one group and were less effective for others based on opponents, catastrophes and chance. I personally tried different, and rather polarized, ideas from the start each time and saw relative success with each.

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Suggestions
The individual clan powers were a disappointment. The Der’s house stealing ability and the Oleyli’s element theft are both helpful and powerful enough to base a strategy around, but the other 3 clans’ powers (extra resources and control of the shaman) feel like throwaways by comparison. I found it to be a disappointing implementation of a potentially exciting and game-changing element.

The requirement for 2 families to be in a block before it is scored works beautifully for forcing opponents to deal with one another instead of an independent free-for-all. It was satisfying to see players attempt to coax others over to their massive stronghold after turtling resources in a corner for a few turns only to see their efforts rot pointlessly when their negotiations failed. Give-and-take (or trickery cleverly woven into deals) won the day over brute, strength and lucky card draws.

I would also recommend more thorough catastrophe explanations on cards. The system adds an appropriate and welcome amount of recalculation and chaos to the game, but a more informative  graphic, much like the element “suits” on the aspect cards, would reduce dependency on the game manual during play. The current graphic explanations are clever, but not very clear.

Conclusion

Hoyuk delivered an experience that fired on all educational cylinders, ended before strategies grew stale, and used tile, resource, and trade mechanics in an interesting way. It is simple enough so anyone can come up with a strategy to try and have fun, but also complex and interpersonal enough to generate multiple playthroughs with different results. It’s greatest strengths in my experience were the need for adaptability and genuine communication. The only real weakness we noticed was imbalance in individual clan abilities, and even those are far from detrimental.

My students look forward to trying the Anatolia and Obstacles expansions, as do I. Even without expansions, I would deem this game worth the price tag of $50 on Amazon based on the replay value provided by the aforementioned strategic diversity and communication. I look forward to the next time I can take over a block with the thieving Oleyli, protect a large stronghold block with the Lebu and their shaman, or cause havoc with the angry Ders.

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Market Price: $49.90

-Shane

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine New Releases for May 2017

Privateer Press has a new batch of fightin’ bastards to liven up the ranks of numerous factions! This month’s offerings hail from not one, not two, but four warring coalitions from the Warmachine line. All solos too. As always I’ve linked each new selection to their corresponding page on the Miniture Market webpage, my personal favorite shopping spot for all things Warmachine & Hordes. So pull up a stool, because your old pal Uncle Grumps is going to bend your ear for a moment or two and give you his thoughts on these combatants. – Melvs

What’s up, Jerks?  Your friendly neighborhood Uncle Grumps is back with another quick look at some new releases from Privateer Press.  We have a varied selection of solos to scope out so let’s get started!

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First up, we have the Deliverer Arms Master:  

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From Privateer Press’s website:

“Few deliverers survive long enough to gain true mastery of the weapons they wield, but those who do can earn the distinguished title of arms master, directing their charges in combat from the back lines. Tasked with the upkeep and repair of Skyhammer rockets and Sunburst artillery, they also train the faithful in the use of these devastating weapons.”

The Deliverer Arms Master has a similar stat line to the Deliverer Skyhammer unit.  His MAT, RAT, DEF, and ARM are 1 point higher and his CMD is 2 higher.  He also has the Tough ability.  The Master is armed with a short range, POW 12 fire bomb that causes the Fire continuous effect on a crit.  He also has a POW 7 sword, but if you’re using this something has most likely gone terribly wrong.  The Arms Master has two special ability actions.  The first is Combat Coordination [Deliverer] which allows a Deliverer model in the Master’s command range to re-roll one attack or damage roll.  The other is High-Angle Fire which gives a friendly Faction model’s ranged, AoE weapons Arcing Fire.  (Arcing Fire allows a model to ignore intervening models further than an inch away when attacking.)  The Arms Master also has the Veteran Leader [Deliverer] ability which grants +1 to attack for other Deliverer models in this command range.  

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The Deliverer Arms Master greatly increases the effectiveness of several of the Protectorate of Menoth’s ranged options.  The most obvious is the Deliverer Skyhammer unit.  Combat Coordination allows the primary attacker in a Combined Ranged Attack to re-roll his attack or damage as necessary.  Additionally, the +1 to attack rolls helps offset the -4 penalty from Inaccurate.  Keep in mind that these abilities can also be applied to the Deliverer Suburst Crew unit.  Veteran High-Angle Fire can help your models with AoE ranged attacks reach vulnerable parts of your opponent’s army.  Keep in mind that High Angle Fire will work on any friendly Faction model.  The Judicator, Revelator, and Vanquisher could all greatly benefit from Arcing Fire.  The Deliverer Arms Master is a solid support solo and an auto-include for anyone who wants to get the most out of Deliverers.  

Next up is the Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan:

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“The artillery kapitans of the Winter Guard understand the true strength of Khadoran artillery. Under their command, crews lay down fearsome barrages just ahead of their advancing troops, decimating enemy lines while creating a chaotic environment that Khadoran forces can turn to their advantage. Often friendly troops are caught in these blasts, but a kapitan knows such losses are a necessary price of victory.”

The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan has the same stat line at the members of the Winter Guard Infantry with the exception of 1 additional point of STR, MAT, RAT, and CMD.  He is armed with the traditional Winter Guard Blunderbuss and Axe.  He also has the tough ability.  The Artillery Kapitan has access to three special action abilities.  The first is Artillerist which gives a friendly Faction model in his command range +2 RAT on its next ranged AoE attack.  The model affected is also able re-roll the direction or distance if the attack doesn’t directly hit and deviates.  The Close Fire action gives a friendly Faction weapon crew unit the Clear! Ability.  Clear! causes ranged attacks from the affected model to automatically miss friendly models.  (And before you ask, yes the exclamation point is absolutely necessary when discussing Clear!)  Finally we have Fire & Displace which gives a friendly Faction weapon crew Reposition [2″].  

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The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan brings an interesting mix of abilities to the table.  Fire & Displace greatly increases the mobility of both the Winter Guard Mortar Crew and the Winter Guard Field Gun.  Reposition [2”] can help these units line up a shot for next turn or keep some distance between them and the enemy.  Artillerist is an extremely powerful ability that can help any of Khador’s ranged options.  Putting Artillerist on a Victor will partially eliminate the Inaccurate penalty of the Siege Mortar, and if you do miss, the re-roll on the deviation will help ensure that the 5” AoE lands where you need it.  The Conquest, Destroyer, and Mortar Crew all benefit from Artillerist in similar ways.  The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan is a powerful support solo that will give you plenty of bang for your buck.  (I couldn’t resist)

The next solo that we’ll be looking at is the Venator Dakar:

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“With exaltation a remote hope at best, the ruthless warriors of the Venator caste take to the field for survival and victory instead. Relentless and cunning, Venator dakars are stern leaders with exacting standards. Under the watchful eye of a dakar, other Venators march quickly and take precise aim, proving they are every bit as skilled in dealing death as the more respected warriors of the skorne.”

The Venator Dakar has a similar stat block as a Venator Reiver with the only differences being his higher RAT and CMD.  The Dakar is armed with the standard Reiver and Sword but the Weapon Master ability on his Reiver means he can dish out more damage than a standard Venator.  The Dakar has two special action abilities.  The first is Combat Coordination [Venator].  The ability works just like the Deliverer Arms Master’s Combat Coordination but it affects Venators instead of Deliverers.  The second special action is Desperate Pace [Faction Weapon Crew].  This ability grants +2” of movement to a friendly Faction weapon crew in the Dakar’s command range.  The Venator Dakar also has the Veteran Leader [Venator] ability which gives friendly Venator models in the Dakar’s command range +1 to attack rolls.  

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Just like our previous two entries, the Venator Dakar is a ranged support solo.  Combat Coordination can help you Venator Reivers land an important combined ranged attack.  It’s also handy for increasing the accuracy or damage of the Venator Catapult Crew and the Venator Flayer Cannon Crew.  The Venator weapon crews also greatly benefit from Desperate Pace.  An extra 2” of movement may not seem like much but the added threat range can take your opponent by surprise.  Veteran Leader provides a +1 to hit for every Venator within nine inches of the Dakar.  This includes the two weapon crews, the Reivers, and the Venator Slingers.  I highly recommend bringing a Venator Dakar if you want to get the most out of the Skorne’s Venator units.  

Last, but not least, we have the Hellslinger Phantom

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“A malevolent specter born of Cryxian magic, the Hellslinger Phantom bears a striking resemblance to the Cygnaran warcaster Allister Caine, and rumors suggest it was made from a sliver of his very soul. The Hellslinger Phantom mimics Caine’s style on the battlefield, firing runeshots akin to the ones employed by gun mages. First spotted in a remote town in northern Cygnar, the phantom slaughtered a large number of innocent civilians, and now every day it roams free, the body count grows.”

It looks like Caine has been moonlighting as a pistol wraith.  Speaking of pistol wraiths, the Hellsinger Phantom has the same stat line as a standard wraith but with +1 RAT, DEF, and ARM.  The Phantom also shares the pistol wraiths’ Undead, Incorporeal, and Gunfighter abilities in addition to Soul Taker: Body Count which allows the Hellsinger to claim enemy souls and Strength of Death which allows it to spend soul tokens to boast attack and damage rolls.  The Hellsinger Phantom also has the ability Swift Hunter which lets it move 2” after destroying an enemy model with a ranged attack.  The Phantom is armed with two Wraithstorm Pistols.  These mid-ranged, POW 12 guns have three different attack types to choose from when making an attack: Critical Grievous Wounds which causes models that are hit to lose tough and the ability to be healed on a crit, Ghost Shot which ignores line of sight, concealment & cover, and Incendiary which changes the damage type to fire sets models hit ablaze.  On top of all this, the Pistols also have Reload [1].  This allows the Phantom to make 1 additional ranged with each pistol per soul token spent.  

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The Hellsinger Phantom excels at hunting down enemy infantry.  The Phantom’s first order of business should be to gather souls to make the most of Reload and Strength of Death.   Just be careful after attacking.  The Phantom loses Incorporeal after making an attack leaving it open to retaliation.  Swift Hunter can help keep you safe by allowing you to re-position after destroying an enemy.  This combination of powerful abilities makes the Hellsinger Phantom one mean combat solo.  

Well folks, Old Man Melvin is tapping his foot and glaring at his pocket-watch* which means it’s time for me to wrap things up.  ‘Til next time!

– Uncle Grumps

*Melvin does not own a Pocket Watch but now wants one.

Pathfinder: Bestiary 6

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Ask anyone, I’m not a Pathfinder guy. I played decades of Dungeons & Dragons 3.X and walked away satisfied, but also with no real desire to play the system again. Even the enhanced version of the rules put out by the wonderful folks over at Paizo didn’t really give me an urge to dive back in. I don’t want to cause any confusion though, I have watch Paizo succeed, and give them nothing but praise for their, practically doting, attention to their fan base and quality product line. In my hands now is their 6th Bestiary. I think it’s high time I delve back in and check out some of these new monsters!

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Pathfinder has always been a game of excesses. They are great about providing a plethora of anything a player or GM might want to get their hands on. The Bestiary 6 sports over 200 new monsters & playable races for the table. Growing up I always had a thing for wolves, this has survived into adulthood so of the many new playable races I really love the look of the wolf-headed humanoid known as the Rougarou. I love the lore surrounding them, they are often mistaken as werewolves but actually detest lycanthropes and hunt them mercilessly. I think I’d really enjoy playing around with these guys. They can even shift to wolf form!

The biggest draw to this book, for Game Masters that is, are the inclusion of some really excellent new archdevils and a really cool Horsemen of the Apocalypse angle. I really like that the Horsemens’ steeds each have their own special stats and abilities. The Horsemen themselves are nasty creatures to go up against, the lowest CR being a 27. These are some truly epic level foes to throw at a party. Their lore is extensive too.

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Even Krampus makes an appearance.

The book is laid out very well. I’ve always enjoyed Pathfinder’s commitment to maintaining an artwork style that flows smoothly over all of its products. Keeping a similar look. This bestiary also sports a huge variety of appendixes to make searching for that perfect foe for your table very easy. The layout and variety of appendixes is something for other tabletop games to emulate.

While I may not find myself playing Pathfinder any time soon, I can eassily say that if you do this book will make for an excellent addition to your library. I have to say, with Starfinder on its way, I am very happy to be starting to dig a little deeper into Paizo’s line of work. They produce really quality items and I know their next line will be the same. Let me know if you have any further questions about Pathfinder’s 6th Bestiary below!

-Melvs

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine & Hordes New Releases for April 2017

*It’s a new month so it’s time for some new miniatures from Privateer Press! This time the faction of note is none other than Khador. Now, Nick is already our most learned member of the group when it comes to Warmachine\Hordes, so it is no surprise I tap him so often for these reviews. This time though, we are talking about his main faction. This leaves no other choice than to once again welcome Uncle Grumps to the page. Take it away bud!

What’s up, Jerks? Uncle Grumps here with another quick look at some new releases from Privateer Press. Today we’ll be focusing on the glorious Empire of Khador.

First up: Assault Kommander Strakhov & Kommandos

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Available as of 04/12/2017

MP $24.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

“Assault Kommander Oleg Strakhov has spent decades carving a bloody trail through the kingdoms of western Immoren, eliminating high-profile targets and destabilizing opposing forces with well-orchestrated strikes. Strakhov stands as a Khadoran legend. Those who tell of his deeds speak of him as more specter than man, an unseen force capable of accomplishing impossible tasks under cover of night and leaving no evidence of his passage.”

Strakhov 2 is Khador’s newest warcaster unit. Strakhov’s stats are similar to those of his previous incarnation. He’s gained a point of MAT and DEF but lost a point of ARM. Strakhov has also kept his Pathfinder ability, which allows him to ignore rough terrain, his immunity to fire and corrosion damage, and his ability to ignore gas/cloud effects thanks to his Alchemical Mask. The Assault Kommander has also picked up a few new tricks. He’s gained an ability called Tactical Flexibility which allows him to give his unit Reposition [5”], Stealth, or Overtake for one round. On top of all that, he can also Assault, letting him make a ranged attack as part of a charge. Strakhov is armed with two Trench Swords. These are magical, POW 11 melee weapons that come with Grievous Wounds and the Combo Strike ability. Combo Strike is a special attack that allows Strakhov to add the POW of his weapon twice to the damage roll. Strakhov’s ranged weapon is the Death Whisper Carbine, a range 8” POW 6 gun that halves the ARM of models hit thanks to Armor-Piercing.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two Kommandos that make up Strakhov’s unit. Their stats are similar to their Kommander’s. The Kommandos have one point less in MAT and ARM, and 3 points less in DEF. They share the following abilities with Strakhov: Alchemical Mask, Immunity: Corrosion, Immunity: Fire, Assault, and Pathfinder. They also have the ability to create a 3” AoE smoke bomb as a special action. The Kommandos are armed with the same Death Whisper Carbines as the Kommander and Trench Swords. These melee weapons are POW 11 and have Brutal Charge which gives them + 2 to charge attack damage rolls. The fun continues on Strakov’s spell card. His first spell is Inviolable Resolve, a low cost upkeep that gives a friendly Faction model/unit +2 ARM and prevents affected models from being moved by pushes or slams. Next is an interesting little spell called Last Stand. This a low cost upkeep that gives a friendly Faction model/unit and additional die on its melee attack and melee damage rolls. The catch is that after the model makes a melee attack, it’s destroyed at the end of your turn. Next up is Lock the Target, a low cost, POW 10 offensive spell that prevents the targeted model from running, charging, slamming, or trampling. He also has Quicken, a moderately priced upkeep that give a friendly Faction model/unit +2 SPD and +2 DEF against ranged and magic attacks. Last but not least, we have Return Fire, a dirt-cheap spell that allows the affected friendly Faction model to make a basic melee or ranged attack after it is targeted by an enemy ranged attack. Strakov’s feat is called Mission Critical. It gives friendly Faction warrior models in Strakov’s control range +3 ARM, Tough, and Feign Death.

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I haven’t had a chance to get a game in with Strakov yet (Between the release of Persona 5 and the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, my free time is currently occupied.), so be advised that this article is going to be more Theory Machine-y than usual. Inviolable Resolve will work well with Iron Fang Pikemen, Man-o-War Shocktroopers, or any of Khador’s other stellar units. Last Stand gives you some interesting options. Keep in mind that the spell doesn’t have to be cast on warrior models. A Berserker with three focus and Last Stand sounds pretty nasty. Quicken will help you deliver your troops to the front line swiftly and, hopefully, in one piece. Return Fire seems like it will work best on a ‘jack or another hardy target. The free attack triggers after the attack on your model is resolved, so you need to survive if you want to tag the enemy back. Strakov looks like a lot of fun to play. He has to tools to ably support your army and his unit is capable of causing plenty of mayhem themselves. I can’t wait to get him on the table.

Next up: Greylord Forge Seer

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Available as of 04/12/2017

MP $24.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

“More than just craftsmen, Forge Seers also take to the battlefield alongside the warjacks they help create. These Greylords apply their knowledge of magic and mechanika to imbue the weapons of warjacks with the power needed to cut down unnatural foes who are more than flesh and steel. Clad in Man-O-War armor, Greylord Forge Seers charge into battle with the hiss of steam in their ears and the chill of winter at their fingertips.”

The Greylord Forge Seer is a monster of a model. In my opinion, it’s one of the better sculpts that Privateer has recently released. The Seer’s statline is what you would expect from a Man-o-War Greylord. He’s low SPD and DEF, high ARM, middling MAT, and eight damage boxes. The Seer brings a slew of useful abilities to the battlefield. He’s got Immunity: Cold and Battle Wizard as you’d expect from a high ranking member of the Greylord Convenant and the Repairable rule common to the Man-o-War models. The Seer is also a ‘Jack Marshal with a unique Drive called Dark Sigils. This Drive gives the Warjack under the Seer’s control the Magic and Blessed properties on its melee and ranged weapons. To top it all off, the Greylord Forge Seer has Magic Ability [7] and access to three spells. Empower gives a focus point to a friendly Warjack and gets rid of Disruption. Hoarfrost is low range, high damage AoE spell causes Stationary on a critical hit. Winter’s Wind gives a friendly model that’s immune to cold the Freezer ability. Freezer causes enemy models (without immunity to cold) that end their activation near the affected model to become Stationary. The Forge Seer is armed with a magical POW 14 Rune Weapon that freezes enemy models on critical hits. The Greylord Forge Seer is well worth the 4 points it costs to bring him to the table.

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It’s notable that the Greylord Forge Seer is the only model in the game to have both access to both ‘Jack Marshall and Empower. When you add in his Drive, the Seer is one of the most powerful ‘Jack Marshalls in the game. A ranged ‘jack with the Dark Sigils drive can be useful for taking out annoying incorporeal models like Pistol Wraiths. The Seer has no problems mixing it up in melee if his ‘jack gets totaled. His Battle Wizard ability can help him attack with Hoarfrost from unexpected angles or cover himself with Winter’s Wind to discourage enemies from leaving models to close to him. The Greylord Forge Seer seems like he’ll work great with Khador Warcasters who like to keep all their focus to themselves.

Lastly: The Khador Command Book

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Available as of 04/12/2017

MP – Softcover $34.99

MP – Hardcover $44.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

In the cold north of western Immoren lies the mighty Khadoran Empire, whose massive military epitomizes the national ideals of strength and resilience. This formidable force is led by powerful warcasters as unrelenting in battle as the bitter Khadoran winter and back by the most brutal and heavily armored warjacks ever to stride the battlefields of Immoren. With thundering ranks of bold imperial soldiers, howling madmen armed with ancient relics, and potent arcanists wielding forgotten and forbidden magic, the army of Khador marches with on singular goal: to carve out the greatest and most dominant empire the Iron Kingdoms has ever witnessed.

Forces of WARMACHINE: Khador Command provides the foundation you need to lead the empire’s conquest with:

  • • Complete rules and profiles for the proud warcasters and unstoppable warjacks of Khador, including two new warcasters and a new Man-O-War solo.
  • • Detailed history and background information, including an in-depth look at Khadoran warcasters and warjacks.
  • • A painting guide full of tips and inspiration to help you create an army as individual as you are.
  • • Two new theme forces that allow you to create specialized Khador armies with specific benefits.

FOR THE EMPRESS AND THE MOTHERLAND!

Like the others released before it, the Khador Command Book features the complete rules for the majority of the released models in the faction. It also contains additional info about the Khadoran military and the larger than life characters that wage war on the Empire’s behalf. The Command Book also includes an in-depth painting guide. There are guides for how to reproduce the studio paint scheme and for two fantastic variant schemes. I expected great things from the Khador Command Book and I wasn’t disappointed. I heartily recommend it to any true suns or daughters of the Motherland!

Looks like that’s all the time I’ve got for today. If you’ll excuse me, I have to return to the not too distant future. ‘Til next time, folks!

-Uncle Grumps

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine & Hordes New Releases for March 2017

*March has not been a friend to me, but I am back in action folks. Hope you all didn’t miss me too much! Though it may be a bit tardy, here are some of the recent offerings from our friends at Privateer Press!

I’m excited about this month’s review items because I have long considered obtaining a Hordes faction and Legion of Everblight happens to be the one I’ve decide to go with. I’ve done plenty of research into how this faction works but, I’ll admit,  I’m also a little nervous approaching this review. We’ll see just how well I have a handle on things as I give you my thoughts on my first two Legion pieces eh?

First up: Fyanna, Torment of Everblight

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Available as of 03/22/2017

MP $17.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

Fyanna, Torment of Everblight is one of Legion’s fiercest forward commanders. She leads small strike forces of blighted Nyss against key targets deep in enemy territory to make way for more substantial Legion forces. Having received the ultimate gift in the form of a shard Everblight’s athanc, Fyanna combines her skill as a formidable assassin with the power of the dragon’s deadly spawn.

Fyanna, Torment of Everblight began life as a combat solo. From everything I’ve read Fyanna1 was a bit overpriced, and pretty much mediocre at best. As a Warlock though, Fyanna2 strikes me as a pretty solid, forward pushing, force to be reckoned with. Looking at her stats alone she stands out as a solid front line fighter. High speed, strength, and Mat mixed with Dodge, Overtake, and a range of 4 inches with her barbed chain makes her very deadly on her own. Fyanna2 isn’t a combat solo anymore though so she comes with plenty of ways to add potency to the beasts, units, and solos that take the field with her.

The Torment of Everblight packs some truly nasty spells, namely Fury and Iron Flesh. Fury is overwhelmingly good for Legion because, as far as I can see, Legion’s Heavy Warbeasts come with low DEF anyway making for the offset of -1 DEF for the additional 3 STR hardly anything to concern yourself with. Not to mention it’s very cheap, at only 2 fury, and it’s an Upkeep. Iron Flesh could serve to pad up the Warbeast or, better yet, beef up an entire unit with its additional +2 ARM and a very helpful immunity to blast damage. I can see a great jamming unit come from this mixture. Her Feat is all about beefing up your units’ inability to get hit, adding +3 DEF and Dodge, for that deep forward push into the enemies’ ranks. Considering she also brings Overtake for herself, and as a Field Marshal, your forces can get very close and personal quickly, and with minimal casualties.2017-03-16 11-35-48.8022017-03-16 11-36-52.429

The only potential shortcoming I can see for Fyanna2 I can see come from the mixture of low Fury and excellent upkeep spells. Also, on a personal note, I had one Hell of a time putting this model together. Tons of small pieces, that require very fine dexterity to glue together. I feel I did a pretty OK job in the end though, with only minimal profanities thrown about. 2017-03-16 14-22-36.6532017-03-16 14-21-56.155

Next up: Azreal, Legion Nephilim Heavy Warbeast

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Available as of 03/22/2017

MP $59.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

A marriage of blighted blood and Nyss flesh, Azrael is the personal warbeast of Kryssa, Conviction of Everblight and manifests the greatest qualities of the nephilim. He possesses a cunning intellect and wields more power than most of his kin. A muscular, serpentine body and full, leathery wings propel Azrael through the sky, and his ash and flame scour the battlefield of all who would oppose the Legion of Everblight.

From what I can see Azrael is a pretty standard Heavy Warebeast stat-wise, and is actually kind of expensive. There is one extremely potent addition to this winged beast though, it’s Thrown Spear attack. This thing really packs a wallop! Azrael’s good SPD and power of flight will get it within its range of 10″ quickly. Azrael has eyeless sight, thus avoiding most concealment from its ranged attack. The Thrown Spear itself has a huge POW of 17 and carries with it the additional benefit of having the “Thrown” rule making it possible to actually beef up the damage from this ranged attack by increasing Azrael’s strength.  To add icing to the cake Thrown Spear also includes a Critical Smite that can push enemies away on a Crit and lastly we add in Reload1 allowing for another throw!

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Azrael comes with a number of other useful tools, a Bond with Warlock Kryssa, the “It Burns!” rule to alight melee attackers with the Fire Continuous effect, and has the Serpentine Rule to protect it from knock down. This beast seems like a potent ally on the field of battle, if you can afford that 21PC that is. It was also a blast to put together!

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Lastly: The Forces of HORDES: Legion of Everblight Command Rulebook

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Available as of 03/22/2017

MP – Softcover $34.99

MP – Hardcover $44.99

These books continue to be solid investments for those who wish to field their armies. Honestly, the details on the Privateer Press page spell the offerings out immensely well.

Hailing from the frozen northern wastes, the Legion of Everblight represents many different races gathered and corrupted by the insidious power of the dragon Everblight. Led by preternaturally potent warlocks, each of whom holds within her breast a shard of the dragon’s own essence, endless ranks of blighted Nyss and ogrun march forth to spread the dragon’s corruption to the farthest reaches of Immoren and beyond. This formidable army is backed by twisted and terrifying dragonspawn born from the very blood of Everblight’s generals and shaped by his own nightmarish imagination.

Forces of HORDES: Legion of Everblight Command provides the foundation you need to unleash the destructive will of the dragon upon your foes with:

  • • Complete rules and profiles for the blighted warlocks and terrible warbeasts of the Legion of Everblight, including two new warlocks and a new character warbeast.
  • • Detailed history and background information, including an in-depth look at Legion warlocks and warbeasts.
  • • A painting guide full of tips and inspiration to help you create an army as individual as you are.
  • • Three new theme forces that allow you to create specialized Legion of Everblight armies with specific benefits.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF A DRAGON!

That’s all for this month folks! Hopefully I generate some steam here and get a few more articles churning out!

-Melvs

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine & Hordes New Releases for February 2017

*Another month, another lineup of excellent miniatures from Privateer Press to showcase. This time hailing from those dark druidic denizens of the forest, the Circle of Orboros! As has become something of a monthly tradition I shall step aside and let Uncle Grumps chime in and tell you what’s what!*  – Melvs

What’s up, Jerks?  Uncle Grumps here again with another quick look at some new releases from Privateer Press.  Today we’ll be focusing on the Circle of Orboros.

First up is Una the Skyhunter

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Available as of 02/22/2017

MP $16.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

“During her time tending the far-flung griffon roosts of the Circle, Una developed an unparalleled affinity with the winged beasts and now employs them to cut down opponents without mercy. Having refined her arcane command over the elements, she is able to call upon the howling gales and updrafts of the highest mountain peaks to shape the flow of battle.”

Una the Skyhunter is the epic version of Una the Falconer, Circle’s character lesser warlock.  Through her transition to a full-fledged warlock, Una has kept her affinity for the flying Warbeasts of the Circle.  Una’s statline is fairly average for a Warlock with the exception of her lower that average MAT of 5.  She also boasts a Fury 7, 15 hitboxes, and 29 Warbeast points.  Una’s main weapon is her Wind Strike, a magical attack with decent range and POW.  Wind Strike has 3 attack types  you can chose from when making an attack.  Black Penny allows Una to ignore the penalty for attacking a target in melee, Snipe gives her attack +4 RNG, and Thunderbolt pushes models directly away from Una.  Wind Stike also has Reload [2] which allows Una to spend Fury to make up to 2 additional attacks.  (I don’t know how someone would go about reloading a magic staff but apparently it’s no problem for the Skyhunter).  Rounding out her weapons is Talonstrike, a magical, 2” reach melee weapon with a low POW.  Una’s abilities include Bird of Prey which gives griffon Warbeasts in her control range Flank with other griffon’s in her battlegroup and Hawker which gives Sprint to Warbeasts with Flight in her Command range.  Between the extra damage die from Flank and the movement shenanigans possible with Sprint, you’ll want to load up Una with as many griffon Warbeasts as possible.

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Una has access to four spells.  The first is Hand of Fate, a low cost upkeep that lets a Faction model/unit roll an additional die for attack and damage rolls and then discard the lowest.  Mirage grants a Faction model/unit Apparition, which allows a model to be placed 2” from its current location during the Control Phase.  Twister is a low cost offensive spell that creates a 3” AOE cloud effect for one round.  Finally, Wind Wall is a moderately priced spell that causes non-magical ranged attacks to automatically miss the caster and any models completely with 3” of the caster.  Additionally, models affected by Wind Wall cannot make ranged attacks.  Una’s feat, From on High, gives Faction models with Flight in her control range +2 SPD and prevents friendly light Warbeasts from being targeted by melee attacks for one turn.

Scarsfell, Rotterhorn, and Razorwing Griffons all shine with Una.  On her feat turn, these light Warbeasts can threaten huge parts of the board.  Including a Gorax Rager for its Primal animus will allow you to buff your Griffons to even more ridiculous levels.  Keep in mind that Una’s Warbeasts must be within 8” of her to benefit from Hawker.  This can leave her vulnerable to a counterattack if you aren’t careful with your placement.  Use Wind Wall to keep her safe from shooting and Twister to block line of sight.  Una the Skyhunter brings an interesting bag of tricks to the table.  She’ll have your opponents warily watching the skies for the whole game.

The next model we’ll be looking at is Kaya the Wildheart

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Available as of 02/08/2017

MP $29.99

From Privateer’s website:

“Atop her moon-white wolf Laris, Kaya the Wildheart rides at the head of swift forces fighting with fang and claw. She and Laris operate as one, Kaya skewering foes with her spear while the great wolf’s jaws clamp down on exposed throats. Any pack of beasts under Kaya’s command strikes with stunning speed and power, rendering the opposition incapable of counterattack.”

Apparently, Kaya is no longer content to just use Laris as a “barknode” and has decided to ride the poor doggo around the battlefield.  Kaya 3 has the similar stats to her two previous incarnations.  She has lost a point of DEF and gained +2 ARM.  Kaya’s weapon of choice is Mistral, a moderately powerful magical spear with 2” reach.  She also has a moderately powerful mount attack courtesy of Laris.  Kaya has the Pathfinder ability which allows her to ignore movement penalties from rough terrain and Reposition [3”] which allows her to advance 3” at the end of an activation in which she didn’t run or fail a charge.  On top of all that, she has Field Marshall Reposition [3”] which gives all Warbeasts in her battlegroup Repostion.

Kaya 3 has four spells to work with.  The first is Blood Spiller, an inexpensive, moderately power offensive spell that allows Warbeasts in Kaya’s battlegroup to charge or slam the model hit without being forced.  Next we have Fog of War, a moderately expensive upkeep that gives concealment to all models in Kaya’s control range.  Note that this includes enemy models.  Soothing Song is a dirt cheap spell that allows Kaya to remove 1 point of fury from each living Warbeast in her control range.  Kaya can only cast Soothing Song once per activation.  Finally we have Synergy.  This spell gives models in Kaya’s battlegroup a cumulative +1 bonus to melee attack and damage rolls (limited to +3)for each other model in her battlegroup that hit an enemy with a melee attack while in her control range.  Kaya’s feat, Moon Shadow, gives friendly Faction models +2 DEF, lets them ignore free strikes, and allows them to move through enemy models for one round.

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Just like her other incarnations, Kaya 3 is a warlock that wants plenty of Warbeasts in her battlegroup.  Synergy is an extremely powerful spell.  A Warpwolf Stalker that has warped strength and has the Synergy bonus is effectively MAT 9 and hits at POW 21.  Fog of War can help your melee beasts get into combat without getting shot up.  Soothing Song allows Kaya to take more living Warbeasts and lets her push those Warbeasts harder without fear of frenzy checks.  Any Circle melee Warbeast is going to work well in a Kaya 3 list.  Consider bringing a Gorax Rager or a Feral Warpwolf for the always useful Primal animus.  A unit of Shifting Stones can help with fury management and help keep you Warbeasts in the fight.  Kaya only has 6 fury to work with so bringing a Druid Wilder for the free upkeep might be a good investment.  Kaya the Wildheart brings a powerful set of abilities to the battlefield and she stands ready to lead your beasts to victory!

The last release we’ll be looking at today is the Circle of Orboros Command Book

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Available as of 02/08/2017

MP – Softcover $31.99

MP – Hardcover $41.99

Like the other two Command books that have been released, the Circle book contains the rules for the majority of the released models in the faction.  This book also contains a plethora of useful information about how the enigmatic Circle is structured and how its members wage war.  The Command book includes two new Theme Forces: The Bones of Orboros which focuses on the construct Warbeasts of the Circle, and The Wild Hunt which grants bonuses for bringing Wolf Sworn models and units.  The back of the book contains guides for how to recreate the look of the studio Circle paint scheme and guides for two amazing variant schemes.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who plays Circle or even has a passing interest in the Faction.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  As always, feel free to post any comments or questions you might have.  ‘Til next time, folks!

-Uncle Grumps

I Implore you, Kickstart this Geek: Bedlam Hall

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It twas merely a little over two years past that a small confederacy of role play designers, known under the droll moniker of “Monkeyfun Studios, LLC”, put forth a role playing game entitled Spirit of ’77. This bizarre little game placed an onus on its players of crafting stories one might find from that era of ill repute known colloquially as “the 70’s”. This game premise inevitably succeeded and procured more than enough funding to be a successful enterprise. Thus the myriads began to frolic as odd men and women from popular culture of that time. I even found myself dabbling in a distraction or two, once wearing the mantle of character similar to Colonel Sanders of all people. It twas naught but silliness, though I’d be remiss if I did not make mention that it could be said I rather enjoyed the experience. Let it not be said that I am without a sense of humor.

It appears that Spirit of ’77 will not remain the only production from this company however, as even now a new venture has taken shape. A member of this illustrious group, David Kizzia,  has designed a game entitled Bedlam Hall and placed its creation, once more, into the hands of potential investors via the website Kickstarter. Apparently it has generated some interest as it has reached already the agreed upon amount to which was needed for its funding. Were I one to resort to such base celebratory expressions as “whooping”, or “hollering”, now would be such a time as to exhibit such behavior. I will however simply offer a stoic nod and offer my felicitations.

What is Bedlam Hall you may ask? Well, if one cannot seek the answers themselves I suppose it behooves me to make it my duty to inform. I am but a servant in such regards after all. Bedlam Hall has the purpose of placing its players in the roles of much put upon servants in the great household of the Blackwood Family. They will then have the esteemed pleasure of serving at their masters’ beck and call diligently, and securing for themselves the prestige of being useful members of the staff. It is truly that simple, nothing else to worry one’s head about. What’s that? Rumors of the macabre? Well now, certainly every great family holds its own secrets and machinations. Who are we to question their day to day activities? We are there to serve and if that includes having to survive meager bouts of insanity or a run in with some eldritch horror, that strikes me as part of the job and need not be remarked upon! Honestly, you should be more careful not to besmirch the good Blackwood name!

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There are many ways to invest in this ghoulish enterprise but let me regal you with the price points that most intrigue me.

15

At merely fifteen dollars you can find yourself receiving this property in a digital format. This strikes me as the ideal manner to lay purchase on this product if you are of the same like as myself and fear overextending your meager, servant’s, earnings. It is at this level I found myself investing and I shall wait patiently to receive my earned reward.

40

 

If you’ve a mind to be a mite more spendthrift my suggestion would be to find your way to the transaction value of forty dollars. At this level not only would you receive a physical book and the digital copy, but it allows you access to all of the treacherous stretch goals I will go on to further explain if you’ll permit me to elaborate below. Keep mindful of the fact that this price point is by no means the most costly you can find yourself within. If you’ve the financial means to do so your potential rewards for backing can be quite intense!

 

As I made mention above this funding ask has already been met with success. Therefore if you were to wish to involve yourself with its investment you would find, with certainty, in receipt of a final product. At this point they are even successfully unlocking what many call “stretch goals”, or rather items in excess of the initial product itself. Currently those who have invested at a price point of fifteen dollars or more will also find themselves obtaining an adventure entitled Terrible Tale #1, my my no attempt to bury lede on that title eh? There are more terrible little goals in store in the event funding levels reach such heights. If, God forbid, they reach a level of funding that exceeds twenty thousand dollars we will all be subjected to a truly monstrous horror. There would be actual efforts made to create a roleplaying game surrounding the concept of a “Gruel Truck” in some fanciful setting. Why they would subject us to such a morbidly frivolous, indecent game is beyond me. It is simply out of taste! What improper individuals would want such a thing?! Alas, if things keep going as they are you may just see this come to fruition. Lord help us all.

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If it were put upon me to suggest whether or not to back this project I would be forced to lay bare my honest opine on the subject, and emphatically implore you to do so. It is with no regrets that I personally made purchase myself after all and it would be silly of me not to expect the same of you. Do yourself the justice of acquiring this offering will you? I do not doubt you will find yourself pleased. Now, off with you. You’ve a Kickstarter to explore!

Your humble servant,

Melvin

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I suppose you’ll be wanting a “sneak peak”, if you will. Well, if you must. Here is an example of a potential character one might play.

Kickstart that Geek! Dragon Brew Boardgame

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I’m fortunate enough to be friends with one of the team that worked on the development of Dragon Brew, Toby T. Gee.  You may recognize Toby from his blog, Roll and Groove, an excellent read that delves into his twin loves of board gaming and music. If you already follow his work, you may have noticed he hasn’t been as active of late (a loss to us all) but I choose to believe it’s because he has been diligently working with the team behind Dragon Brew to bring it to fruition. Toby helped them edit the rules and rulebook and has joined the rest of the team in marketing it to the masses prior to and during its Kickstarter run. It’s because of this welcomed relationship that I was able to play one of the prototypes of Dragon brew, back in May of last year, at Geekway to the West 2016.

Dragon brew mixes two of my favorite things, board games and craft brewing. Add in the perfect fantasy setting and you have a recipe for good fun. Apparently in “Brumancia”, the fantasy setting for the game, years of bitter war and conflict have been replaced by a brewing competition. If only our world were so noble. As a worker placement game you choose a fantasy race, each with its own special forms of brewing prowess (perhaps they start with more resources, or more gold, etc.). All the players then proceed through a turn of the game, brewing their special beers that they will eventually put before a panel of judges to win victory points for the place earned at each competition. When I played the game I was informed it was still in development but what I played felt pretty polished, and I had a blast playing. The only thing missing in the equation was a nice cold brew to compliment my gameplay (though, if I recall it was like 8am… I mean, I’ve started earlier… but still).

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This is August Games’ first product on Kickstarter but they’ve long been ingrained in the board gaming industry as lovers, and promoters, of the hobby. The man at the helm is Daniel G. George who was one of the founders of the Board Games and Brew podcast. Together with Kate Blevins, Jeff Cornelius, and Tom Lathos they’ve been podcasting about board games and beer since the fall of 2014. Daniel came up with the concept for Dragon Brew while chilling on the beach with his wife and a few brews on a rare sojourn from their children (I totally understand this). Reading his Designers Blog (an excellent read for those interested in the process of building a board game), things apparently just clicked in his head.

“Why not have a game where you take ingredient cards and lay them to make your own beers with custom names?  I grabbed my note book and sketched out cards lining up to create beers. I always ask myself “WHY” when I think of a new mechanic.  Why would players want to do this? What is the goal of the game?  To win prizes at a beer festival of course!  Judges with personalities and unique preferences!”

The wort was mashed, all that remained was a little fermentation of the core engine behind the game, and now of course we are at the bottling stage…ok, enough brewing puns, it might leave a bitter taste (ok, not sorry).

So let’s get into the pricing for the game, shall we? August Games keeps it simple. There are only three options remaining that get you the game.

49-dollars

At $49.00 this is your best bet to get the game at a reduced price. From what I understand the retail price will likely jump to $65.00 post Kickstarter. So basically it’s a good time to buy.

65-dollars

As you can see, buying in at the future retail price now will get you some extra goodies. Signed stuff is always cool, plus I dig the art!

190-dollars

Getting four copies for $190.00 is a great way for your FLGS to get a head start on shelving the game for future sale. Let them know about it!

At this point the game is already 94% funded, and could very well fund before I hit the “post” button. Backers will get this game, especially considering they’ve also partnered with Quartermaster Logistics (the sister company to Cool Stuff Inc.) for backer reward fulfillment and warehousing. Let’s take a gander at a few of the stretch goals that, while not inevitable, are certainly the next step once this funds! Here are the first three.

I’m a huge fan of the third Stretch Goal. It’s always a lot of fun when a game can boast it’s own style of Meeple. So like its first two stretches, most of the goals focus on adding a variety of playable races to the game. There are already a lot to choose from but adding more sounds like a ton of fun, and likely something you’ll only be able to get as an expansion to the game later on. Another nod toward the solid move it would be to back during the Kickstarter.

in-the-box

What’s in the box you ask?

in-the-box-01

As you can probably tell, I’m geeking out about this game. Get in there quick folks and get a copy. I’d love to see this game shoot through stretch goals! Take care folks!

-Melvs

P.S. With only a little more than one hundred tickets to Geekway to the West 2017 remaining, you might be able to corner Toby and I and force Toby to demo this lovely game for you!

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