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 Apparently in “Brumancia”, the fantasy setting for the game, years of bitter war and conflict have been replaced by a brewing competition.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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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What’s in the box you ask?

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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!

LINKS:

Kickstart that Geek! Dreamchaser

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Find the Kickstarter HERE!

I had a conversation with Pete Petrusha, creator of Dreamchaser and owner of Imagining Games, on twitter about his game. After getting the chance to play it, with notorious RPG Academy hosts Michael and Caleb, I stated that we had “played pretend with just enough crunch to make it a specific game”. I eventually followed it up with mentioning that “That’s all Tabletop games are right? Playing pretend with varying degrees of crunch”. Now, I’m not even the 100th person to say this, it is no special revelation, but there is something special about the Tabletop RPG Dreamchaser that call to mind the “let’s play pretend” aspect of these games more than anything I’ve played in recent memory.

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Dreamchaser is a Tabletop RPG that eschews a specific setting, concrete character classes, or even character abilities. The game outs the onus on the players and the GM to craft these things solely through their own imaginations. Players are encouraged to dream up simple scenarios they might have always wanted to do in an RPG that, for whatever reason, systems in the past haven’t been conducive to. Keeping things within simple phrases, maybe they’ve always wanted to “Climb the (mountain, world tree, tallest building)”, or defeat the (dragon, BBEG, evil god)” you get the idea…maybe even they simply want to “Make the perfect sandwich”, though that is not nearly as simple as it seems from what we found out! This then becomes how your story ends, and getting there requires some milestones and your own imagination.

Obviously it’s is an open system, and one that puts no small amount of pressure on the players to help with crafting the game the group plays. I have not always been a fan of this personally. Many players love it and you’d think I would as well given my background in Improv Theatre and general love of both playing and running games. Frankly though, when I play I like to react to my environment, and effect change to the narrative in that fashion, more than I like to be the impetus of everything going on around me. If I wanted to control the narrative, I’d simply run the game. For example, when I played G.I. Joe Wushu almost a year ago on the RPG Academy Podcast I had fun but the constant need for me to explain the details around me was a bit overwhelming. I didn’t think I’d like playing another game where the I had to be a driving force for so much of the plot itself, but I was wrong.

 

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Where Dreamchaser succeeds is how it handles these player driven narratives in a more collaborative fashion. Sure there are aspects of the game that only you can come up with (mostly character details), but even from the onset when people are adding their “dreams” to the pile of potential picks they get to play off each other’s choices and come together with the ultimate end game scheme. Throughout the game there are numerous times where everyone works together to drive the story along, but it is almost always collaborative. Every now and then, in a heated situation, a player will have to strike out on their own and relay the scene to everyone else but by then the player has developed skills and abilities that can be easily used to narrate the sequence. Add in a simple rolling system, 2d10’s where you are attempting to roll beneath whatever target number is being dictated by your skill and style of approach to the confrontation, and you have just enough crunch to ground the game into a pretty smooth flow.

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I think Pete has something special here. Granted if you’re a crunch lover who genuinely likes the rigidity of systems requiring tactical moves, group balancing, etc. you’ll not find as much of that here, and that’s ok. However, if you want to play a game that leans toward a player driven story-line with a strong enough mechanic backing it to allow for surprises and interesting challenges, you’ll find it here. Plus, the fact that Imagining Games found a way to incorporate starting from the end to truly make the game about the journey adds a remarkably satisfying gameplay element to it. For a game so new, it feels polished.

In my opinion, this game is a no brainer. Buy it, love it. Adore the amazing artwork! Here are my suggestions for levels to back at.

I personally backed this Kickstarter (something I don’t always do, even if I adore the product). I loved the game and I trust Pete to deliver. However, I don’t have a lot of capital so I backed at my reccomended “poor guy” level “Electric Dreams”.

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As you can see, it gets you everything you need to play the game. It just doesn’t provide that satisfying tangibility of a physical book.

If a physical copy, but don’t want to raise your cost much maybe the softcover version is more your speed at prices in the $24-$30 ranges. In my opinion though, if I had the money I’d hit up the “Pretend Box

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For a level that’s pretty much the “get it all” level, $65 is a pretty great price point.

So head on over to the Kickstarter folks! Let me know your thoughts below and, by all means, if you have any questions about the game you feel I didn’t address ask away. Having had the unique pleasure of playing I can likely give you an answer or I can always punt to Pete who I’m sure will answer quickly. Take care dreamers!

-Melv

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

What’s up, heathens?  Uncle Grumps here with another quick look at some of the latest releases from Privateer Press.  Today we will be focusing on everyone’s favorite group of religious fanatics: The Protectorate of Menoth.

First up this week is Sovereign Tristan Durant.

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Available as of 01/25/2017

MP $16.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

“Since becoming a full-fledged warcaster, Tristan Durant has been elevated to high station as a sovereign of the Protectorate. He serves the Creator by spreading the word of Menoth to all who would hear it. Though compassionate, Durant does not hesitate to unleash holy wrath in Menoth’s name upon his enemies, particularly when such foes threaten the safety of the growing flock under his protection.”

Durant has come a long way from being the Protectorate’s character journeyman warcaster solo.  He’s kept his middle of the road stat line with the exception of his STR, MAT, ARM, and CMD, which have all received a slight increase.  Durant has traded in his battle staff for Veritas, a moderately powerful spear with Damage Type: Magical, Critical Dispel, and 2 inch reach.  Not only did Durant keep True Sight, which allows him to ignore Stealth and cloud effects when determining line of sight, he also gained a Field Marshal ability that allows him to grant this benefit to warjacks in his battlegroup.

Durant’s spell list is where things start to get really interesting.  Chasten is a low cost, short ranged offensive spell with the same POW as his spear.  Upkeep spells and animi are removed from models damaged by Chasten.  Cleansing Fire is moderately costed, short range AoE attack spell that deals a decent amount of fire damage.  On a critical hit, all models hit are set on fire.  Hand of the Creator is medium cost spell that heals all friendly Faction models in Durant’s control range d3 damage points.  Inviolable Resolve is a cheap upkeep spell that gives +2 ARM to a friendly Faction model/unit.  Additionally, those models can’t be moved by a slam or push.  Manifest Destiny lets warjack’s in Durant control range roll additional die on melee attack and damage rolls and then discard the lowest die of each roll.  Durant’s feat, Prayers of War, gives each warjack in his control range a focus point and gives Durant one focus point, up to his maximum, for each warjack in his control range.

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Looking at Durant, it’s obvious that he’s a warcaster that wants a large battlegroup.  Between his feat and Manifest Destiny, Durant is a able to get the most out of the Protectorate’s already stellar warjacks.  Temple Flameguard make a good target for Inviolable Resolve, which makes them an extremely durable tar pit unit that can’t be pushed or slammed out of the way.  It’s worth noting that Hand of the Creator restores hit points to all models in Durant’s control range, not just warjacks.  Multi-wound units such as the Exemplar Bastions or the Flame Bringers will be more difficult to remove from the table unless a concerted effort is made to take them down.  In short, Sovereign Tristan Durant is a versatile warcaster that supports many different play-styles.

The next release we’ll be looking at is Feora, The Conquering Flame.

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Available as of 01/11/2017

MP $34.99

From Privateer Press’ website:

Feora, the Conquering Flame continues on her rising trajectory within the Protectorate. She has taken the reins of the southern armies like never before and has extended her participation in crusades abroad. Her aspirations have always been higher—to rule the theocracy—and the time has come when her flame may rise to its ultimate ascendancy as Feora continues to solidify her place at the heart of the nation’s dawning golden age.

 

Feora 3 ( F3ora? 3-ora?) is the latest epic Protectorate warcaster to mount up and become a cavalry model.  She boasts a decent stat-line with higher than average SPD, MAT, and ARM.  Feora has kept her weapons from her previous incarnation: a long ranged spray flamethrower and a magical spear with a decent POW and Critical Fire.  As a cavalry model, she also has a moderately powerful mount attack.  Feora has the assault ability, which allows her to make a free ranged attack while charging, and immunity to fire damge.  She also possesses the Flame Trail ability which makes enemy models she comes into B2B contact with suffer Continuous Fire.  Rounding out her abilities, Feora has Reposition [3] which allows her to advance 3” at the end of an activation in which she didn’t run or fail a charge.

Feora’s new spell list provides everyone’s favorite pyromaniac with some new tricks.  Banishing Ward is a low cost upkeep spell that protects a friendly model/unit from enemy upkeeps and animi.  Fire Step is a low cost spell with a range of SELF.  When cast, enemy models close to Feora suffer a moderately powerful fire damage roll and Feora herself can be placed anywhere within 3” of her current location.  Incite is an expensive spell that grants friendly Faction models +2 to attack and damage rolls against enemy models while they are in Feora’s command range.  Molten Metal is a cheap offensive spell that causes 1 point of fire damage to each column on a warjack’s damage grid.  Redline is an upkeep that grants +2 STR and SPD to a warjack in Feora’s battlegroup.  This spell also allows a warjack to run, charge, slam, or trample for free but the affected ‘jack suffers d3 damage points at the end of it’s activation.  Feora’s feat is Clash of Flames.  It allows Feora to immediately cast Incite without spending focus and grants her Flame Trail ability to friendly Faction models in her control range for one turn.

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This new version of Feora brings and interesting mix of abilities and spells to the table.  You’ll want to play her towards the front to get the most of Incite.  Fire Step can be used to get yourself out of trouble is Feora gets surrounded or just to extend her already impressive threat range.  Use Repostion to have her retreat to safety if necessary.  Redline can be cast on any of the Protectorate’s amazing melee ‘jacks.  Flame Bringers can help make the most of Feora’s feat.  Between Parry, Repostion, and Side Step, the Flame Bringers can spread the Continuous Fire effect to a surprisingly large number of your opponent’s models.  Feora, The Conquering Flame looks like a blast to play and I can’t wait to get her on the table!

Last but certainly not least, we have the Protectorate of Menoth Command Book.

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Available as of 01/11/2017

MP $34.99

The Command book contains the stats for nearly every model currently released for the Protectorate.  In addition to model rules, the Command book features two new theme forces.  The Creator’s Might which rewards you for playing ‘jack heavy and Guardians of the Temple which features buffs for various Flameguard units.  You can also find plenty of information of the structure and organization of the Protectorate military.  Like all of Privateer Press’ books, the Protectorate Command book is filled with gorgeous artwork.  This is in addition to gallery of painted models located near the back of the book.  It even includes a painting guide with tips on how to recreate the studio paint scheme and guides for variant schemes.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Protectorate of Menoth.

Looks like that’s all the time I have for this week.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some heretics to burn!  ‘Til next time, folks!

-Uncle Grumps

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

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