Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm outta my league here

My Dreadball league that is.  Tonight is the end of our first Dreadball league in the Dayton area, and we are going to finish it off with a Dreadball Ultimate match.  It was originally planned to run through February and March, but we decided to extend it to April because more people wanted to get games in.

You can check out the results here.  Not everyone named their teams or players.  Nor does everyone have a fully painted team, but it is a start.

I haven't played that much, but I have demoed the game a lot, and I usually end up with the Orcs & Goblins team - and it led me to really, really dislike Jacks in the game.  So much so that when I chose a team for myself, I picked the Nameless simply because they didn't have Jacks (and a friend of mine was already getting Veer-myn).

The Nameless are composed of three species of aliens - their strikers (who are essentially shrimp), the hard guards (which are crabs with tentacles for legs) and the sticky guards (who are simply a mass of tentacles held together by the dreadball armor with a head).
Nameless Striker
Nameless Hard guard
Nameless Sticky Guard
When I was trying to think of a name for my team, my first thought was a Cthulu based them, but then a song by the Who came on, and the sticky guard with it's tentacles holding onto other players just reminded me of Fiddle About and Uncle Ernie from Tommy, and thus I had my team.  Of course my stick guard was Uncle Ernie.  I then named one of the hard guards Cousin Kevin from the song, and of course I named one of my strikers Tommy.  The other starting hard guard was the Acid Queen to help finish off the theme.  The rest of the team were named after the band members - John E, Roger D, Pete T and Keith M.  I decided to combine the idea that the Nameless are all basically shellfish - and the a cool sounding album by the band, so Quadrophenia became Molluscaphenia.

Being the organizer I tried to make sure others got their games in first, so I only got in five myself.  of these I did well, until I played my son.  He manages to kill both Uncle Ernie and Tommy - the entire basis of the team!  They were replaced with Guess Who and Who, because honestly I'm not really that much of a Who aficionado, and didn't want to do more research for more names.

Oh, and if anyone thinks that the Nameless are an overpowered team - you should see the Unincorporated Rebs!  This team just rolled over just about everybody, and he managed to actually get in at least one game against every other team in the league.  My nameless were there only team that managed to not lose to him by a Landslide out of all of his games, and they still lost.

In fact the last game was so bad it ended on his third rush.  It was against Martians who were the home team, and went first.  On the first rush, the Gaelan Jack managed to kill the martian jack who was maneuvering around to shoot him in the back.  Then on the Unincorporated rush he took three more martians off the pitch, injuring them for three rounds each.  Every time the martian player brought on another player, he was taken out.  After his third rush, he decided that it was not worth losing any more players, and no more of the martians were willing to come in off the bench, so it ended in another landslide for the unincorporated.

The league overall was fun, and I think most people enjoyed it.  We still have an issue locally with getting everyone together consistently (so to facilitate more games we did not include MVP's, and let people use their underdog bonus based on each game, for anything BUT MVP's).

Speaking of MVPs - I'm not sure how they would have worked because until the very end most teams were very cash poor (even giving them 6MC extra per game), so that no one was willing to spend actual MC on a one-off (we even had a couple of teams that won games and almost went down in total rank because of poor dice rolling and having to resurrect or buy new players due to deaths.)  Lessons learned I guess.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

OHCon 2015 Kings of War Tournament

This is the second year for OH Con, a set of tournaments held by Andrew Sherman and the Ohiohammer podcast network, which includes Mantic Radio and Mantic Radio Weekly.  While at this point it is mainly a Warhammer Fantasy GT (and there is also a 40K RTT), it has also hosted a Kings of War tournament on Friday evening both last year and this year (and I hope to continue for years to come).

While the traffic and construction (plus a turned over semi in the construction zone) meant that we (my son Jon and I) arrived a bit later than we intended, we did manage to get there so that the event could not only start on time, but we ended up finishing early!!!  Unfortunately due to real world complications, we had at least six people drop out at the last minute.  As such we ended up with only five paid players, and one of those actually dropped before the third game (claiming he had to make more terrain for the 40K tournament (not that he was smarting after the beatdown he received (and will undoubtedly hear much more about on the podcast) during the first round!).
A great bunch of players - Corey, Jon, Rob, Brian and Andrew
So first round matchups were Andrew Sherman v. Rob Phaneuf - two of the hosts (the third being Mark Zelinski who, with his son, is one of the people that couldn't make it at the last minute) of the Mantic Radio podcasts.  This was a much anticipated match between these two, as lots of smack had been talked about beforehand, with a couple of great players who can let it all out on the tabletop (at one point an observer mentioned that they didn't need a swear jar, they needed a swear bucket!) but afterward go and have a beer together.  Andrew managed to take away the bragging rights this time.
Rob laughs as Andrew carefully measures distance, while Corey and Brian ponder their game in the background.
On the next table was Corey and Brian.  Corey does some really amazing conversions (I really love his robot dreadball team, as well as the wraiths he converted from angels for Kings of War, as well as his dirigibles he has made for this warhammer dwarf gyro copters and bombers) (maybe he will update his blog someday!) but ran out of time, so unfortunately ended up with some unpainted miniatures on the table, which, as we all know, means that he had no chance of winning with them (don't you know that unpainted miniatures always roll 1's).  Brian in his first Kings of War tournament (and possibly his first actual game maybe?)  managed a solid victory over him with his undead. (over half of the participants had undead - Corey, Rob and Jon).
Andrew inadvertently photobombs Brian's careful measuring while Corey checks his army list.
On the last table was Jon against the ringer army, this round played by Bill Robertson - author of the great Warscore tournament scoring tracking software, which I use to score all of my tournaments.  I highly recommend it because it makes tournaments so easy to run, with round pairings done at the click of a button.  Plus you can set up ranking groups to compare your record against others across tournaments - such as the 2015 US Kings of War Rankings.  I have to apologize to everyone for bringing the nasty, filthy, broken list that I did as the ringer, but I had painted up Arhak Soulbinder and really wanted to see him in action, to see if he was a bad as he sounded on paper.  Of course that meant I needed to bring 6 war engines for him to give elite to.  At the end, it was just as horrible as I expected, with Jon being tabled on turn four.  Now it wasn't all the special character, as Bill still managed to hit with three of the war engines on the first turn without the re-roll - but the re-roll allowed him to hit with 2 more.  I think Bill lost two units, even being exhausted and never having seen the list before.
Bill and Jon after deployment, before the dice started to roll and the beating began.
Between rounds one and two was the paint judging, and I managed to completely forget to take pictures of the armies.  You can see pictures of Jon's, Rob's and Andrew's armies over on Facebook as they were playing the same lists they played at Adepticon.  I also managed to not take any pictures of the second round because Bill had to bow out as my ringer player, so I actually played my own, nasty list in Round two.

So round two was me beating Brian, who took it quite well.  Jon was beaten in a much closer game by Andrew, who had also been looking forward to playing him.  Corey and Rob faced off on the last table, where once again the unpainted curse plagued Corey.

For the third round Rob had to drop out as mentioned above, which meant that no one had to face my horribly broken list again (yes, I feel bad for such a nasty list - though in the new rules coming out this summer (you did know about the new rules and the kickstarter, didn't you?)  That left Andrew and Brian battling it out, and Jon playing Corey to crawl out of last place.
Andrew giving Brian advise as he moves his unit around the building

Jon and Corey figuring out the two big scrums in the middle of the table
 When all was said and done, Andrew took Tournament Champion Best Overall, Brian was Best General, Jon was Best Painted, Corey was Best Sportsman, and Rob got the 'try another game' award for coming in last place.
Andrew Sherman, Best Overall
Brian Folcarelli, Best General
Jon Carter, Best Painted
Corey Lenigar, Best Sportsman
Rob Phaneuf - maybe better luck with another game.
Final Results:

Kings of War

KoW at OH Con 2015

Place Name Army Opponents Battle Objective Points Sportsmanship Paint Players Choice Favorite Opponent Best Overall Additional Painting Best Appearance Best Sportsman Best General Awards
1 Andrew Sherman Kingdoms of Men Rob Phaneuf, Jon Carter, Brian Folcarelli 85 7 15 20 1 2 130 6 28 19 92 Best Overall
2 Brian Folcarelli Undead Corey Leniger, Michael Carter (Ringer), Andrew Sherman 50 7 15 20 2 94 3 27 15 57 Best General
3 Jon Carter Undead Michael Carter (Ringer), Andrew Sherman, Corey Leniger 50 2 15 20 1 1 89 9 31 17 52 Best Appearance
4 Michael Carter (Ringer) (W) Abyssal Dwarfs Jon Carter, Brian Folcarelli 60 3 7 17 87 5 22 7 63 Ringer
5 Rob Phaneuf (W) Undead Andrew Sherman, Corey Leniger 45 3 10 20 1 79 6 26 12 48
6 Corey Leniger Dwarfs Brian Folcarelli, Rob Phaneuf, Jon Carter 30 1 15 9 55 3 12 15 31 Best Sportsman
Next up - Cincycon with Dreadball on Friday night May 1st, and Kings of War on Saturday May 2nd.  See you all there!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Plugging in to the circuit

If you haven't noticed by now, I'm a much bigger fan of fantasy games than sci-fi.  (I really wanted to do some king of Meghan Trainor joke here (because there aren't enough of them here, here and here (you know I'm all about that fantasy, no sci-fi)) but I just it just isn't happening today.

However, as a Mantic pathfinder I can't ignore the games other than Kings of War, and the upcoming Dungeon Saga: Dwarf Kings Quest, there are other games that I need to run and promote as well.   I tried a Deadzone league last year that fizzled, and haven't gotten any traction on Mars Attacks! yet.  However Dreadball is finally starting to take off, if just a little bit.

Mantic has declared 2015 as they year of Dreadball, and with that they have now introduced the NADC - North American Dreadball Circuit.  Essentially this is a series of regional dreadball tournaments, with the winner of each receiving free admission to the NA Dreadball championship at Adepticon 2016.  Not only that, but the winner of that will play the winner of the UK championship, and will start alternating venues (so in 2017 it will be in the UK, meaning the US winner will get a trip to Mantic HQ to play the UK winner).

Basically the US has been split into four regions - North, East, South and West, and each region has 2 to 4 championships in it.

Ohio seems to stick out a bit to fit in into the north region (it seems to me it might have been cleaner to put it in the east, but not my call).  However I end up being close enough to actually reach more than one region.  So currently I'm hosting two regional competitions, on in the North and one in the South.  I don't know if I'll end up with one in the east - but I've got almost a year.

First up is the South regional in Nashville TN at Nashcon on May 23rd.  This is over the Memorial day weekend.  We are calling it the Nashcorp Cup!

The giant music and advertising NashCorp started out with humble beginning. Helviss Cressley was a young singer with a guitar playing to the locals, mesmerizing the crowds with his catch tunes and gyrating hips. It wasn't until Colonel (retired) Tam Pucker saw him on stage, and saw the way the crowd seemed to follow his every word and movement that the partnership was born. 
Colonel Pucker had been in charge of secret projects for the military involving using sound to control and brain wash people without their being aware of it. This research had failed initially, due to the fact that the sound required to implant suggestions and control his subjects was grating and unpleasant to the test subjects. It wasn't until a few years after leaving the military when he took his daughter Milicent to a concert for her 16th birthday that he realized the power that the right type of music had. 
Colonel Pucker quickly made his way back stage after the concert, and instantly signed Helviss to a contract. Helviss would write the music, and then Colonel Pucker would add in the underlying sound structure, and when it was performed they found they could influence the crowds to do nearly anything. The first test on live subjects did not go as planned however, as when the song "You ain't nothin but a storm trooper" was performed worked to influence the crowd to gather arms, they found that the demographic of young teen age girls just weren't able to be the lean fighting soldiers that he needed. He was about to abandon the project when he saw Helviss pick up a bottle of Zlurpmaxx to drink between songs - and all the girls in the audience immediately rushed to grab bottles themselves. The idea was sound, it was just the direction that needed improvement. He realized that if they used this new music not to create soldiers, but to advertise products, that they could be richer than they ever imagined. So out of this partnership NashCorp was born. 
NashCorp quickly grew to be one of the biggest advertising and entertainment conglomerates in the known galaxy. Their secret and patented "earworm" technology allows them to embed any advertising into popular music, as well as to generate the jingles used across the vid screens for every program, including the Dreadball broadcasts. It wasn't long before they began to sponsor their own Dreadball tournament, the NashCorp Cup, drawing capacity crowds influenced by the music constantly playing before, during, and after the games. 
So remember, When you can't get is out of your head, its a NashCorp Earworm!

Then, not quite two weeks later, I'm also running one in the North Region - The Origene Cup at Origins 2015 on June 5th.

Origenes Corp found its humbling beginning with cloning cattle to meet the demand of Enforcer armies food consumption. With the sudden popularity of Dreadball, Origenes Corp found lesser sponsored teams coming to them to clone their star players.  
As more and more teams came to Origenes, the margins exploded. Shortly thereafter, Origenes soon found their focus changed from cloning cattle to cloning Dreadball players exclusively. CEO Obidiah Twinning soon had a spectacular idea of sponsoring a Dreadball Tournament with the idea of increasing company profits by offer team from the tournament cloning services as players are “retired” during the games. 
Now in its 4th season as a tournament, CEO Obi Twinning now sees the NADC as another way of increasing its profits and has made moves to join the NADC.
In order to warm up a bit, I'm also running a non-NADC tournament.  Which basically means there is no Blaine trophy nor free pass to the championship.  This one it down at CincyCon, and while it is not a qualifier it will have some nice prizes (did anyone mention Mars Attacks?), it will still be a fun evening of tournament.

Of course I'm running several Kings of War tournaments (including at OH Con this Friday), but that is another post.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

All together now

I recently had a question concerning multi-basing - what is it, how is it done, why is it done.  As I started to write a response to this email - I realized that this may be a topic that others might also be interested in.

In miniature games, all miniatures need to have a base.  This tends to give stability to the model (it isn't good when models fall over during a game) as well as define the area that a model takes up for game play.  When you define things based on the base of the model it often eliminates confusing questions, and also completely frees up both the model designer/sculptor as well as the hobbyist that is actually assembly, converting and painting the model to do whatever they like.  You can create a treeman that stands over a foot tall, but it plays in the game based on it's base size (say 50mm x 100mm) and works exactly like the one someone else bought and painted up straight out of the package.

In small scale games (like 10mm games (the scale, in this case 10mm, is the distance to eye level for a normal human soldier.  Kings of War (like Warhammer) is 28mm scale - so almost three times the size of a 10mm game) it is impractical to model individual figures separately - instead you model a whole unit (so you don't have one archer, you have a unit of 10 archers).

One of the concepts used in Kings of War is that each unit is defined by it's footprint, not by the individual models that make up that footprint.  So a troop of 10 archers has a footprint of 100mm x 40mm - because each archer has a 20mm square base - so 5 x 2 results 100 x 40.  In the most recent version (currently in beta) they have standardized all the units as well, so that for infantry there are only troops (10), regiments (20), hordes (40) and legions (60).  This means that the smallest unit is 10 models, and all other sizes are multiple of this.  Same with cavalry, but here it is 5 for a troop, 10 for a regiment and 20 for a horde.  For large infantry / cavalry, it is 3 for a regiment, 6 for a horde and 12 for a legion.  But like infantry, each of these defines a smallest unit size, of which bigger units are always composed.

In addition, Kings of War does not use models as wounds, and you never remove a model from its unit.  So again your troop of 10 archers always is the same size - you don't remove individual models.

Because of these two facts, you can glue multiple models to a single base so long as the unit footprint is correct - this is what we call multi-basing.  Multi-basing units makes them easier to set up, and also allows you to create more interesting or economic units - you can easily model a horde of zombies crawling its way out of a graveyard, or if you are on a budget you can have five or six knights multi-based to represent a full regiment.

Two troops, each of 10 archers.  I only had 8 archers for each unit, and added a bow to a mercenary figure to mark the leader, but is it still fully playable as a unit.

A regiment of knights.  Once again, I only had eight and two kings, and I didn't want two kings in the unit (representing the leader), so I multi-based the 9 knights.
I have actually seen people go as low as 25% of the required models (especially on a legion (60) of zombies), but I feel it should be at least half, if not 75% of the necessary models.  But that is my own personal decision, and so long as the unit is identifiable and has the proper footprint, multi-basing can make for awesome looking armies.

Take for instance the North American Kings of War 2015 champion Kara Brown's Abyssal Dwarf army.  One of her best looking units is a regiment (10) of Abyssal Halfbreeds.  Her theme for the army was much more steampunk, so she built a spider-walker with dwarfs controlling it as her regiment of halfbreeds.  It was on the proper base so was completely legal and very very cool on the table.

A regiment (10) of Abyssal halfbreeds from my Abyssal Dwarf army.  These are actually not multi-based, each model is on it's own, separate 25mm x 50mm base.

Kara's regiment of Abyssal Halfbreeds.  It has the correct base (even if the blade sticks out a bit), and it both perfectly legal and quite awesome to see on the table.
Multi-basing however does not mean you need to put fewer models in a unit - it just means you can.

A multi-based regiment (3) of Lesser Obsidian Golems.
So how do you multi-base models?  It is actually completely up to each person and what they prefer, but I can talk a little about what I do.

One thing to be aware of, when you have multiple models glued to a single base, they become more difficult to paint, because the models now get in each others way.  I learned very quickly that if you have more than two rows of models, then the ones in the middle (as well as the middle facing side of the ones on the edges) are much, much harder to paint well without mistakes.  As such, I limit myself to multi-basing no more than 10 infantry models at a time (or 5 cavalry, or 3 large infantry).  Since I do this for Kings of War, it also makes it so that I can reconfigure the army if I so choose.

If I have 10 mantic models I want to multi-base as a troop of 10, then I glue 10 mantic bases together - 5 x 2 for these.  I specify mantic because their infantry models come with a small built in circular base, and their bases have a cutout just that size (effectively turning them into square bases).  I then put a magnet on the bottom of this multi-base, as I have found the easiest way to store these models is in plastic bins with sheets of roofing tin at the bottom, and the models magnetized to them.

I then paint the miniatures for the base, and once they are completed I glue them into place in the multi-base.  Once that is dry, I then use watered down white glue to glue sand to the top of the base.  When that is dry, I paint it dark brown, and then add a spattering of static grass to it.  The last part is to then paint the edge of the base black to help highlight the model.  

In some cases, I'm either not working with Mantic models (like the archers and knights above), or I don't want the disk at the bottom of the model (such as for my abyssal dwarfs).  In this case I carefully cut off the plastic disk (making sure I don't damage the model - the disk however is destroyed and thrown away), and then I glue the model in place on the base.  (Same with larger models like cavalry or the golems above which don't have the disks).

At times I have directly glued the circular bases onto the base I'm using (a good example of that is the skeleton crew of a balefire catapult).  When doing this you should try to mask the 'bump' left with sand and static grass.

Sand and grass help to hide the circular bases, though you can still make out the one on the right hand crewmember of the catapult on the left.
One other thing that multi-basing can do is to allow for the making of mini-dioramas.   Even in games where you remove individual models, you can multi-base models for convenience - just so long as you have enough single based models to 'make change' as you take wounds.

A multi-based organ gun, allowing for a fun conversion.

Multi-basing allowed me to create this mini-diorama within my unit of drunk dwarfs.

The three 4-wide bases allowed me to make sure that figures were always placed properly to get the desired effect - such as this dwarf who is about to get slapped as he reaches for the girls butt!

Blowing a kiss to the lonely dwarf waving back at her.
In the end, multi-basing is a matter of taste and convenience.  So long as you aren't using the models for games that do not allow this, of course.  I've found it makes it easier to transport and setup my models for a game, and can give lots of modelling opportunities for interesting creations.

Like a boot to teeth and a kick in the ass

To start off, turns out that trying to be creative and maybe even a little funny on a regular basis is much harder than it first appears - who would of thunk it?  Even more challenging is not just creating a wall of text, but being able to actually show off something.  Perhaps I need a little bit of leather inspiration - a belt to the mouth and a boot to the ass to kickstart some ideas.

Kickstarter (see what I did there :-)), for those of you who have been hiding under a hobby rock for the past several years is a crowdfunding platform.  It is basically an open, pre-investment system where people (or companies) ask for investments in order to create something - anywhere from writing a book to putting on a play to making potato salad.  To do this they simply start by setting a goal, making a video and page, and submitting it to kickstarter.  In general they offer different rewards for different contributions, and if they do not make their goal in contributions, then they don't get anything and the contributors are not out anything beyond the time they took to investigate the project.

There are other crowdfunding platforms as well.  Indiegogo is another crowdfunding site, which while smaller than Kickstarter, has the option to accept immediate donations - so that your money goes to the project when you pledge it even if it doesn't make it's goal.  But these are pretty much the same, especially from the point of view of a contributor.

Participating in a kickstarter project can be quite exciting.  One thing many projects do is to add stretch goals, which are goals over and above the original funding request - and in general these open up some additional perks for the contributors.  There is a general contribution curve with most successful kickstarters - where they start out with a big rush (often spurred on by 'early-bird' rewards (usually a discount), then they tend to get really quiet in the middle, and have a big push to the finish at the end.

I've participated in a few kickstarters (my wife actually reads this, so I won't say how many :-) ), so I have some idea how they work.  Mantic Games really likes the kickstarter model - they are currently doing their ninth campaign - an expansion to their miniature game Deadzone which itself was kickstarted for over a million dollars a couple of years ago (they have actually done another one that went over a million dollars as well - for their new dungeon crawl board game Dungeon Sagas : Dwarf Kings Quest which appears to be on schedule to ship this summer).  So why would a company choose to go this route instead of the more traditional funding models?

One of the problems with traditional funding (where the company goes out and gets some source of venture capital, either by finding investors or getting loans) is that the creation of the product is in a vacuum.  The designers do their work, the writers create the background (and in the case of games, the rules), the actual product is manufactured, orders are solicited, and then the product is released, where consumers then buy it.  In a successful project, the consumers like and want the product, so buy enough of it that the company can make a profit large enough to not only pay off the investors or loan, but also to continue to fund the operations of the company, and eventually, after this cycle is repeated many, many times, to be able to actually fund new products internally.  However, there is an inherent risk to this, in that if the consumers do NOT like the final product and thus don't buy it - the company may not be able to pay off the investors and can even go under.  It is a large gamble that as you try to put something out not knowing if it will be successful.

With kickstarter - your investors are (in general) also your customers.  While this is not always the case (I saw one last year to bring a geek burlesque show to Gencon - however the show was already completely sold out, so all investors could get would be merchandise from the show (I passed on this, because if I was going to contribute to someone doing a show, well I wanted to see the show!)) it is still a good rule to go by.  Most kickstarters are not done with a finished product in hand, so the contributors can actually have a say in what does or doesn't get funded.   This can also help the company gauge the amount of interest in a given product - if the campaign doesn't fund then they know they have done something wrong and there is little interest in the product.  If it limps along and barely makes its goal, then the company knows not to expect huge support when it hits the market.  If it succeeds more than expected (sometimes WAY MORE) then they know they have something that people want to see on their hands.    A good example of this is the indiegogo campaign for Con Man, a web series that is, essentially, a comedy about going to science fiction cons from the point of view of actors whose shows were 'prematurely' cancelled (so yes, it is about the cast of Firefly, just like Galaxy Quest was about the cast of Star Trek and science fiction conventions)).  ConMan has funded for over 600% of it's goal - and looks now to be close to a dozen episodes (instead of the base 3 it started asking for).  And it still has five days to go!

There is some risk to backing a kickstarter.  If it fails to fund it doesn't cost anything, but it can also ship late, and in some instances never at all (one of the first ones I backed seems to be in this boat, the creator has not responded to any messages for over a year (but then again I've wasted $20 before on lots of worthless things, so I'm not too worried)).  Another one I had backed seemed destined to never happen as the creator came down with cancer afterward - I easily wrote it off.  However four years after her initial project funded, UberDork Cafe' finally opened to the public, and I'm glad to have been a meager investor in this project.

So if you have ever wanted to help out the little guy, the creator trying to start something new, then crowdfunding (i.e. kickstarter) is a great way to do that.  I've found that instead of buying products from very small company at conventions I am now backing their kickstarters to help even more products get made.  A win for them, and new shinies to feed my addiction for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 2015 Newsletter

Well according to the calendar spring has sprung.  I look outside and see that the trees are budding getting ready to spew they allergy causing pollen over everything.  So as I reach for the Zertec it is time for another newsletter.

March has been an extremely busy month.  Of course first there was Adepticon – and a fantastic time it was.  We had 18 people in the Clash of Kings tournament, and Dayton’s own Kara Brown walked off with the championship.  She already has a target on her back for next year!  Plus there was Dreadball and Deadzone tournaments – check out the latest Mantic North America Podcast for all the details, including Ronnie’s question and answer session at the Mantic Open Night ( ).

One of the real exciting things that happened while we were at Gencon was the new Kings of War 2 Beta rules were released.  A few minor tweaks to the rule set (goodbye true line of sight – don’t let the door hit you on your way outta here!).  As of this writing you can find the latest version of the open beta test here ( ).  They are getting ready to update this yet again (possibly by the time this is sent off) with a version that ‘should’ lock up the ruleset, and just ask people to play and test the army lists and point values.  We already had a playtest day down at the Hobby Shop last Saturday and found the new rules work very well, clearing up the few minor issues that exist in the current version (yes, shooting units are now worth it (making Elf shooting even better – like THEY needed it :))).  We will probably have a few people at the Hobby Shop on May 4th in the afternoon doing more testing as well.  If you are interested in giving the new rules a try and having your opinion heard, give me a shout.

But wait, there’s still more on the Kings of War front.  The kickstarter pledge manager which was scheduled to end on March 31st is being held open a bit longer due to some technical issues.  The only real time constraint on it is if you getting an existing mega or starter army (i.e. not Forces of the Abyss or Nature) which they need to order fairly quickly.  However don’t think you have all the time in the world, it will be closing soon.

Speaking of closing soon – I’m sure everyone is aware of the newest Kickstarter that Mantic is doing.  The Deadzone: Infestation kickstarter introduces the Veer-myn to Deadzone, and is building out full hard plastic core troops that are also usable in Warpath.  Not only are they making new plastic troops for the rats and the Enforcer pathfinders, but new industrial battlezones – so you now can have pipes and fans and all sorts of other cool terrain for Deadzone or any sci-fi miniature game.  Plus they are making a new version of the rules that will be cleaned up, points rebalanced and all in a single book.  You can pledge for the book only for $35, terrain only for $100, or the Quarantine package with book, terrain and the new miniatures for $115 (this is the sweet spot – currently including the hardback book, PDF mission pack, 10 Enforcer pathfinders, 2 dog drones, 2 jet bikes, 15 Veer-myn Night Crawlers / stalkers, 2 Veer-myn shredders, a free faction booster, 6 sprues of scenery, 2 sprues of accessories, 2 connector sprues, a paper gaming mat, dice and Blain on a jetbike!  This isn’t everything, and much more is sure to be added before this is all done.  However you don’t have much more time to pledge – this will end at 6:59 pm on Monday, April 6th.  Oh, and if you don’t have Deadzone yet – they have a fantastic deal on it as part of the kickstarter – you can pick up the game and all three supplement books (the third includes ruined scenery and 30 zombies) for only $100 – which is almost half the retail cost.  The least you can do is check it out at - you know you want to!

Mantic has declared this is the year of Dreadball – and if you haven’t tried the hyper-kinetic sport of the future, there is no better time than NOW!  We are running a league at the Hobby Shop on Monday nights from 6-8 pm – and we are having so much fun that we have decided to extend it through April!  You can always check out the league standings at .

The new repackaged teams are shipping even as I write this.  It is just completely unthinkable that Mantic would raise the price of a base team from $24.99 to $29.99, and give you four or five (or even the case of the Zee team eight!) more figures for that.  The new teams now include the alternate sculpts, keeper parts, a prone figure and a Dreadball in addition to the eight (ok six if you are playing Judwan) starter figures.  So you don’t need to go and buy a booster anymore as you add a couple more members to you team in the league.

In just over two short weeks OHCon will be upon us up in Toledo.  This is the second year for this, and once again we are having a Kings of War tournament on Friday night (Saturday and Sunday are full up with Warhammer and 40K GTs), with registration starting at 4 pm (first game starts at 5).  This allows for special characters and should be a blast.  Plus there are getting to be fewer and fewer opportunities to watch your opponent hang their head as your artillery destroys half their units on the first turn (KoW 2.0 is so nerfing my Abyssal Dwarf mortars!).  Check it out at to register – the cost is only $15.00.  I look forward to seeing you there!  And if we don’t have enough players then I’ll have to be the ringer with Arhak Soulbinder giving all my AD artillery elite (yes, re-rolling misses) – and friends don’t let their friends face that across the table.  It is up to you to prevent artillery fire!

Not only is OHCon coming up, but so is Cincycon!  This has moved to the Butler county fairgrounds this year, so it is much closer for people in the Dayton area.  Friday night May 1st is a Dreadball tournament starting at 6 pm, and then on Saturday May 2nd is a Kings of War 1500 pt tournament starting at 9 am.   Go to to sign up (look under Events->Tournaments for both).  Badges are only $15 for one day or $20 for the weekend – and there is no additional cost for the tournaments.  And to sweeten the deal – I walked out of Adepticon with a big stack of Mars Attacks! and Deadzone prize support from Mantic as well – so you could even win one of these great games (and who doesn’t need a Big Stompy Robot?)
Cincycon to be a great time again (we had a lot of fun last year).  One new factor is that I have been talking with Daniel over at Game Table Adventurer in Newark Ohio – they have started stocking Mantic product, and will have it at Cincycon for all your Kings of War, Dreadball and other Mantic needs!  Please come and support them as it has been difficult to find stores that carry Mantic’s products, especially at conventions.

The Dungeon Saga: Dwarf Kings Quest beta testing is still going on for kickstarter backers, and the production of the game is on schedule.  Ronnie talked about showing off some of the great new miniatures being created for this game – and of course his visitors were most excited about doors!!!  Plus keep an eye out for a big announcement for Dungeon Saga – it is really cool and should provide a great boost for the game (yes, I know what it is, but I can’t say).

If you are fed up with this long winded spiel, you can always check out my gaming blog.  I actually decided to commit the outrageous sum of $12 to purchase the domain for it – so it is now at .  I am attempting to update it at least once a week, and promise to do more than just whine about my coworkers like I used to do years ago in my other blog.

As always, here is a list of the confirmed events coming up in the area.  All the events should (or will have soon) pages up on my web site at
- now - 4/26/15 - Dayton Dreadball League
- 4/17/15 - OHCon (Toledo OH)- 1500 pts Kings of War - allowing special characters!.
- 5/1-3/15 - Cincycon (Cincinnati OH).  Dreadball and Kings of War.
- 5/23/15 – Nashcon (Nashville TN) – Dreadball and Kings of War
- 6/5/15 - 6/8/15 - Origins (Columbus OH) – Dreadball and Kings of War.
- 7/30/15 - 8/3/15 - GenCon (Indianapolis IN) – Mantic will be there!

In addition, we would like to have a local Dreadball tournament after the league finishes – provided I can find the time for it!

Feedback is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated, and if you ever have any questions, drops me at line at

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Mike Carter
Your Friendly Local Mantic Pathfinder