Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mantic Blog: Origins - Wrap up

So some stats:

6 Learn to Play events run, 1 tournament (cancelled due to not enough people)

30 participants. 4 no shows (3 on Wednesday night due to the fire, and 1 on Thursday due to getting caught up in other events (Good for you Josh!)) and 1 person turned away because the event was full.

22 games of Kings of War played - 17 during the sessions, 1 in place of the tournament, and 4 from people that liked the learning session so much they had to come back for more games (ok, so 3 of these were with Chris, who was very enthusiastic about it the game with his friend Andy, they are already planning on how to get the game and what they want to play. Andy is going to try to go to GenCon and compete in the tournament even).

The good - everyone seemed to really enjoy the game - some almost excessively so :-). It felt great introducing the game to so many.

The bad
1) exhaustion. Just feel wiped out now.
2) communications failures so I wasn't able to get Mantic support for this. I'm finally in communication with them and this should not be a problem for GenCon. I think that if I could have had the rules booklets to give out, and a little bit of plastic crack (i.e. sprues) to give them players it would have hooked them even more.
3) no product to purchase. I would like to have an elf army, and replace my orcs with mantic orcs by GenCon, and was hoping to pick them up at Origins. Unfortunately nobody there was selling any. Several of the people who played were also looking to buy the book and models - but they can't buy what isn't for sale. I directed some of them to a local store in Columbus that I know has a small selection of Kings of War (but unfortunately it isn't selling well there either).
4) no tournament. I hope we can get enough at GenCon, however it seems to be hard to get a good foothold for the game here. This is where running demo events helps I feel. I'm not sure if a tournament at a con is the best thing at this point, if for no other reason than the high cost to participants (con entry + event fee -> usually costing $30 - $40) and all of it going to the con. In comparison, an independent tournament can put the cost (usually $10) all towards prize support and/or lunch. But it is harder to get people there if you don't already have a decent player base.

Ok, I don't mean to sound like it was horrible, it was actually really great. I actually got in 4 games myself (doubling the total number I've ever played :-) ) and no the rules so much better now. I like giving a bit back, and I want to support this company because I believe in healthy competition in the marketplace, and I really hate companies that use anti-competitive practices or that treat their customers and retailers badly.

So next up is GenCon (ok, I have a 3 day tournament for Warhammer in July, but I don't need to prepare for that since that army is done). See if I can get Orcs & Elves ready. I'm looking forward to it.

Mantic Blog: Origins Day 5

So Sunday. Day of Rest. Father's Day.

Yeah forget all that, we have Kings of War to run!

My final event had five people for it, so once more I had to play. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves again, and the guy I played (his name already escapes me) really liked the system. He had participated in both the Dread Ball and Dead Zone Kickstarters, and had nearly every WFB army. The streamlined rules and super affordable miniatures had him hooked.

Then, to top it off, Chris and Andy showed up just as I was wrapping up, wanting to play again! So exhaustion or not I couldn't turn them down, and they did a Dwarf v. Orc battle. I tried to mix it up a little, and had them do a "pillage" game instead of the "kill" they had done all weekend. This did not go well for the orcs, especially because the Dwarfs finally found their stride and hit with almost every artillery shot.

Of course, I got a few more pics:

Undead v. Abyssal Dwarfs. I must have been tired, as that is the only reason I can think of why I put my regenerating half-breeds anywhere near the skeleton horde that I gave fire-oil just to use up a few extra points. I guess that made up for me hitting both his balefires on turn 1 with my mortar and rocket launcher.

Ogres v. Orcs. Josh played the Ogres, and put a serious hurting on the ogres - wiping out all three of the orc infantry units by turn 2! However the orc gore riders, giant and krudger held their own for the rest of the game, and though they lost, there was only one ogre unit (and the captain) left.

Goblins v. Abyssal Dwarfs. They actually decided to play this down to the last man standing. In the end it was the goblin wiz and the AD Overmaster left. Did I ever mention that I thought it would be fun to give the wiz wings of honeymaze? And the Overmaster has no ranged attack, so after many, many turns of the goblin staying out of the overmasters range and zapping him to no effect, they finally decided to call it a draw.

Mantic Blog: Origins Day 4

So another very busy day. I played in the Warhammer tournament (and won best painted for my Drunk Dwarfs - you can check out pictures of them on my website at ). Then I ran my fifth session teaching people to play Kings of War.

This one had another great turnout with six people playing. Then near the end, Chris and Andy from my Thursday sessions came back to talk more about the game, and are both very interested in getting it - so they asked if they could play Undead v. Orcs to make sure they wanted the starter set. Not only that, but two of the people who just played asked to play again. I wasn't going to say now - but this time they were on their own as I was 'off the clock'.

More dice were rolled, much more fun was had, and they played until almost 1 am! I was busy and tired enough that I forgot to take pictures of the first three games, but I got a couple of shots of the later two.

CORRECTED pictures. (Thanks Google+ for not presenting them in date order)

Undead v Orcs

Kingdoms of Men v. Abyssal Dwarfs

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mantic Blog: Origins - Day 2 & 3

So with quite a busy start on the first night with the fire and all, I was raring to go on Thursday. Good thing to, because it was a fantastic day.

My first learn to play session was at 2 pm - and I had 7 players - so all four tables were full. I ended up playing Josh since he had already gotten a game under his belt. My Abyssal Dwarfs put some smackdown on the Orcs. I did a lot of running between tables answering questions and pointing things out, but it was great fun.

The 5 pm session was smaller, only two people. However both of these had seen us playing the night before, which is why they came to this session. Goblins vs Ogres - and the little guys put the big ones to shame.

Then with a quick dinner comes the 8 pm session. I thought the first one was great - but this one had 9 people show up for it - I unfortunately had to turn the last one (who got there about 8:15) away - but he is hoping to come back for one of the last two. Josh and Aaron had a rematch here - so they started while I was teaching the others - one pair was a married couple, another a father and son. Everyone had a good time.

As I was packing up, one of the 5 pm players asked if I could stay a bit and he and I had another game (his KoM trouncing my AD). He was having a really bad day, and playing KoW was the highlight of it, and he just had to get in another game to help him calm down and end the day on a high note.

Then this morning one of the 8 pm players came by just to thank me again, he had so much fun the night before.

So today was the big tournament - but it didn't happen. Unfortunately, Josh was the only one to sign up for it (it really is nice seeing him being able to play a bit!) so it was cancelled, clearing up my day. So what did I do - sat down and played a full 1750 pt game against Josh - his undead vs. my Abyssal Dwarfs - both of us had our tournament lists after all (mine was in case we needed a ringer army). As is typically, his artillery seemed to be better than mine (so tell me again how skeletons with NO EYEBALLS can aim so flipping well when my abyssal dwarfs can't?) It was funny watching the artillery shoot it out the entire game (he ended up with 1 catapult out of 3 left, I ended up with 1 rocket launcher (out of 2 and 2 mortars) left). In the end I controlled 2 objectives while he had 1, and he only had two separate werewolfs and 2 characters left, while I had most of my infantry. A really fun game - Josh is a great sport. One more victory for the foul, evil dwarfs.

I did manage to snap a few pictures of some of the games going on.

Dwarf ironclad, sheildbreakers and ironwatch ganging up on a poor skeleton horde, while the revenant knights head toward the war machines. Unfortunately destroying this unit wasn't enough,and the dwarfs lost the battle.

Ogres doing some damage to the Abyssal Dwarfs, though the AD pulled out the victory in the end.

Abyssal dwarfs fighting Orcs. The box is the base of the orc flagger who broke off just before the battle and wasn't repaired until afterward. I think this is what caused the orcs to lose this fight.

Goblins fighting the undead. Two armies both with multiple horde units - it was basically crap on crap when it comes to fighting. But being able to head the undead (by eating their opponents in combat, or by magic) allowed the undead to be victorious here.

Some dwarf on (evil) dwarf action, and Dwarf ironclads prepare to flank the Abyssal Dwarf Lesser Obsidian Golems who were fighting the Shieldbreakers. But it was not enough, and the AD won this fight.

Another shot from the same battle - a pretty even matchup between Abyssal Dwarf BlackSouls and Dwarf Ironclads.

Goblin rabble horde and giant charge the Kingdoms of Men horde of spearmen. The goblin artillery in this game was incredible - leading them to a decisive victory.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mantic Blog : Origins - Day 1

Well they were predicting really bad weather Wednesday evening for Columbus OH, so I took off plenty early to avoid driving in it. We (my son and I) get our hotel and badges, and I start setting up around 4 or so. Well at 4:30 the main power goes out - and we are thinking this is going to get pretty hot and stinky fast - but then the fire alarm goes off and they evacuate the building. Apparently there was a huge transformer fire in the basement.

It gives us a chance to get something to eat, and when I check back they are still predicting two to three more hours at 6 - so we head to Barley's across the street for a beer (or three) and to get the free pint glass from the coupon book. About 7:30 I get a call from a friend of mine who is signed up for my 8 pm event - and I tell him what I know, which is that we aren't expecting to get in for a while. So he heads home, and 20 minutes later I get a couple of texts from people in the hall - because apparently it had just opened!

I head back, and still have two players - Josh (redfox4242) and Aaron - so they pick Undead and KoM and have a great game.

Set up and ready to begin

I don't know how those skeletons with no eyeballs can shoot so well, but both catapults hit on turn one, routing the cannon and knights before they can do anything. Ogres get double hit in the flank on turn two, and we see some horde on horde action in the middle of the board. Both undead catapults hit AGAIN, but this time not quite so bad. The ogres are destroyed

ghouls attacking the archers
Revenent Cavalry and ghouls coming to help the skeleton spearmen against the human spearmen
Instead the zombies hit the flank, hungry for brains

and skeletons attacking the other archers
In the end, Josh and the undead never lost a unit, while the KoM were almost wiped out. But everyone had fun, and Aaron plans to attend another session to get in a rematch against Josh.

Luckily the storms that hit Columbus overnight weren't so bad (at least here) - they didn't even wake me up. Now on to day two and three more sessions!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mantic Blog : Packing up

So I think I've got everything packed up and ready to go for tomorrow. I'm re-purposing the cart I built for my drunk dwarfs (which I'll be playing with at the WFB tourney on Saturday) with a new top to keep track of everything for the 7 events I'm running at Origins. A little nervous - especially because I've only heard of one person who is coming to the tournament. I've also never run a tournament before, so there is that.

I will definitely try to get pictures of everything. I hope to see a lot of people from here in Columbus the next five days! Look for my cart in the miniatures hall in the Legendary Gamers area.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mantic Blog : LTP - Origins

So I'm trying to get everything ready for Origins next week.

I have 8 1000 pts armies painted and ready to go. I found some nice stackable containers and put in some sheet metal in each, then magnetized all the movement trays / bases to hold them - everything fits great except my old gw Ogre banners are a bit too tall for these. The Goblins won't fit into a single container because there are simply too many.

Terrain is packed, but I need to buy some felt for the forest area (I have the trees, but each is based individually so you can move them out of the way. The new hills are done, the new walls are done. A huge bag of dice, tokens for wavering, army lists print outs done. I still need to get a few more tape measures together. I printed out a nice summary sheet from here.

Tournament stuff is ready, though I need to decide on a 1750 AD army to use as a ringer.

I played my son today, 2000 pts AD vs KoM (more than half ogres). Got real lucky with mortars, taking out his knights on turn one. His cannon never hit anything, and though the ogres really hit hard, he kept failing to route, and then when he easily beat my abyssal guard (from a unit of ogres and his horde of spearmen - and then rolled snake eyes for the route test). Then the next turn after he lost two more units he conceded.

The one problem is I can't guarantee that the learn to play armies are completely balanced - the AD are the army I'm collecting right now, so they have more options. Most of the others are based either on starter boxes or what I have.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mantic Blog: LTP: KoM - Spearmen, Militia, Cannon and Ogres

I traded for a WFB Empire cannon a few years ago and never used it, but did use some of the bitz. Replacing the wheels however and we have artillery!

Ogres from my OK army. A mixed set, as most of them are being used as a full Ogre army.

And with that, I've got a 1000 pts of KoM, in a little over a week.

I still need to finish 5 Abyssal Berserkers, 8 hills and there area bases for 8 (or 16 depending on what I do to keep them consistent) woods. By Tuesday night, as the first Learn to Play session is 8 pm next Wednesday! Oh, and I have to figure out how to pack all of these to transport them to Columbus next week, and Indianapolis in August.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mantic Blog: Slave Orcs

I would like to do some type of checked pattern on their shields, but they will do for now.

Mantic Blog : LTP: KoM - Archers

I used the mercenary model as the leader swapping his sword for a bow - he looks a bit out of place however, so while I am painting one to do the same thing for the milita unit (peasants), I may just use the 8 regular models instead.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mantic Blog: And some silly kniggets

Go away, or we will taunt you again!

So can I finish the 40 spearmen, 18 (all I have) archers, 9 peasants, the cannon, hero and wizard in a little over a week? Plus highlight the slave orcs and do the abyssal berserkers?

Pre-registration for Origins has closed. When I checked last night 21 tickets had been sold to the 6 Learn to Play events, and no tickets for the tournament. We'll see how it goes I guess.

Mantic Blog: as promised