Monday, May 30, 2016

Deadzone Infestation Kickstarter : Single Miniatures

The Deadzone Infestation kickstarter had a bunch of stuff, and the final booster was a set of single metal miniatures.

The first one was a Teraton Shock trooper.  This is a mercenary that works for any army except for Plague or Veer-myn, so if you wanted a teleporting turtle but didn't care for the Rebs, now is your chance.  It is obviously a male teraton, as it is a little on the small side compared to the current restic one for the rebs.  It is interesting (at least to me) to see that they now have mercenaries that are NOT named characters (same with the Ogre Terminator)

Up next is Adrienne Nikolovski.  This is a new named character that is a leader of the Rebs Elite Army List in the Infestation expansion, but can also be used as a Sphyr Lancer (with 4+ shoot, R5, AP 2, I can see it showing up a lot).

Then comes of the the more comples models (I'm still not quite sure how to put it together).  This has the parts to be a mercenary Hund Rebel Bounty Hunter, or a Rin Nomad for the rebs.  For the hunter he comes equipped with the sniper rifle - however for the Rin he has the two knife arms (and the other head).

Another named character from the Infestation expansion, Chief Mauhulakah looks to be one of my favorite looking models  (he is built using the twin heavy pistols).  He can also be built as a Marauder Sky Scraper if you give him the rifle instead of the pistols.  I just really love the column of smoke and fire from his jump pack.

And that was it for the single figure booster.

As I mentioned in my previous post, one model in the kickstarter was not included in any pledge levels or boosters - it was only available as a separate add-on. The Ogre Terminator has a mini-gun with R 5+, Shoot 5+, Weight of Fire(1) and Suppression.  He is also solid so never gets pinned nor can he be moved by blast or knockback (great for sitting on an objective).

So that is everything from the Deadzone Infestation kickstarter.  Now to try and find the time to get it all painted.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Thursday, May 26, 2016

and there was much - well I wouldn't call it rejoicing as such

Kings of War as a game is fortunate for several reasons:

1) It has a company behind it that both cares about the game and the players
2) It has a committee of volunteers to help with both making and adjudicating rules
3) It has a community of players behind it that enjoy and support the game.

Since the release of 2nd edition late last summer, and the implosion and fragmentation of the WFB community (some to AoS, some to 9A, and some (welcome) to Kings of War), there has been some debate over some rules (sorry - they are not going to add spell lores and a dedicated magic phase), and especially with the release of the Uncharted Empires supplement, questions on balance issues.

Kings of War 2nd Edition is, to my knowledge, the most publicly play tested and balanced miniature game on the market.  But it is not perfect, and with the huge influx of new players - well issues have arisen.  Flying De 6+ heroes.  Allied units that are just too good to pass up (Ogre Shooters with Brew of Keen-eyeness), lords on Dragons w/ Ensorceled Armor, etc.  Spam lists have shown up (you have how many goblin wiz's in that list?) and some are very difficult for newcomers to deal with.
The Kings of War Rules Committee (RC) finally put out the new tournament pack for Clash of Kings 2016.  In general, this is your normal, run of the mill tournament pack.  When I first looked at it, the only thing I noted that were different were that it was going back to 2000 pts (from 2500 last year),   And the single line about referring to the special event rules.

Ten pages of normal, and the last two rules seem to be causing a bit of an uproar - because they are trying to fix some of the balance issues that have cropped up in the last year.

Now note - these rules are ONLY for the Clash of Kings in the UK - no other tournament has to follow them, nor do you have to follow them when playing at your local FLGS (or playing your mates in your local game club for the UK folks).   That being said, I know our local group likes to follow the tournament rules for the next upcoming tournament.

As an FYI - since it is less than a month, the tournament I am running at Origins on June 18th will NOT be using these (though there are some similar changes in the rules pack already).  The Clash of Kings at Gencon WILL be using these.

from the pictures I have seen, I would really love to visit and play there.
So - what are the changes?

Cursed Pharoh and Ahmunite Pharaoh - these are becoming De 5+ (from 6+).  Why - because too many people were taking these as allies to their neutral or evil lists (from the undead and empire of dust lists), giving them Wings of HoneyMaze and having a very nasty De6+ flying hero.  While I'm not against this per se - I don't like it being available to most of the armies as an ally.  So it isn't quite as hard to hurt - were you really depending on these heroes in your list?

Fly - units can no longer fly when disordered (including losing nimble).  Personally I'm not sure this is needed - however it really does make someone think about how to use flyers - as they can no longer easily run away from a tough combat.  Killer no, but it will make people rethink some formerly easy tactics. (Boy are there people complaining about this one though).

No more than three of the same war engine, hero or monster.  So no more 8 Goblin wizs with 8 war trombones (and 8 hordes of rabble).  This is a change that I thought should have been put in the base rules - though if it were there it needs to scale for size (like 1 + 1 per full 1000 pts - so 3 at 2000 pts, but 2 at 1000 pts and 4 at 3000 pts etc).

Allies - any allied hero, monster or war engine can only be taken once.  Personally, I don't like allies. Nor do I care for spam lists that repeat the same units several times.  The idea of doing both - spamming allies - just never occurred to me.  I don't see this as a bad limit at all.

Allies can no longer take magic artifacts.  Yeah, I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth reverberating throughout the internet.  What - no more allied Ogre Shooters w/ Brew of Keen-eyeness hitting on 4's?  No more allied dragons with ensorceled armor - or allied pharaohs with wings of honey maze?  Oh darn.  Suck it up buttercup - allies were never intended to give you super units - they were (in my opinion) meant to allow you to create interesting and fluffy (*gasp*) armies.  If you must have those Ogre Shooters - well play Ogres!

Individuals only scoring half points in Invade! and Dominate! scenarios.  To me this doesn't go far enough, and should also include flyers.  Don't have these vampires turning around and running in to score on the last turn without having to think about it - if you want them to score you must plan for it.

War Engines can not capture/control objectives - I definitely agree - they should NEVER have been allowed to do this - it is just too easy to plop one down on an objective and not have to worry about it.

Then they added in two new scenarios - GREAT!  Mix it up and make the game more interesting. The six current scenarios are fine - but having more just keeps things interesting.  I was actually expecting to see control points for all relevant scenarios (not just VP), but this is ok for now.

Oh, and while I greatly dislike the Margin of Victory adjustment table - at least this has been corrected so you can actually get a tie (I had a couple of frustrated players at Adepticon that played to a tie and their victory point difference was very small (one game being 5 points difference) - but these still became 11-9 games instead of 10-10.  0-99 points should be a tie, I agree.

So looking at these changes - I like them and have absolutely no problems with them.  Now I don't try to make broken lists (ok, the first edition list that had Arhak Soulbinder and five war engines in it was pretty broken - but he isn't even in this edition (and with me being just about the only person that actually painted up and liked the model)) but these seem all like very reasonable restrictions.

my poor abandoned Arhak :-(
I already had a friend text me concerning these changes -  "Just hope they don't piss a lot of folks off and they leave the game."  I actually say good riddance - if you are going to rage quit over a few balancing changes for some tournaments then you aren't the type of player that I enjoy playing with and against.

Remember that when playing a game, the object is to win, but the purpose is to have fun.  These are not mutually exclusive.  I'll say again that I think Kings of War is the most balanced miniature game available, and this just helps to keep it so.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, May 23, 2016

Deadzone Infestation Kickstarter Boosters

So when you backed the Deadzone Infestation kickstarter at the Quarantine level you go to pick one booster as part of your pledge.  If you backed at the Lockdown level you got all seven of them included.

So what was in the boosters?

First was the Enforcer booster.  This had no new models in it - it was five of the enforcer peacekeepers and a strider (which has all the parts to make the enforcer, rebel or plague version).

The enforcer peacekeepers were one of the last sprues completed for the first Deadzone kickstarter and came out quite late.  I never did pick up any of these (though I already have 3 Striders (come on Warpath!)) - and it surprised me when I realized that it takes two full sprues for these.

peacekeeper sprue 1 - 4 bodies, heads, weapon options
and the other side
peacekeeper sprue 2 - one more body, legs and shields
peacekeeper sprue 2 - the other side
The strider is all restic - this is one of the older kits and could still benefit from an assembly guide. Lots of bits here, including some weapon options.
Strider bits
In the lockdown pledge, they bagged all three veer-myn boosters together.  The first booster was simply the veer-myn booster, and contained of the old restic warpath nightmares (these are now recommended to be used as Maligni - however at 18 points for the chem thrower version, and then adding more points to get them to be anything like the models - well I don't see myself using any for Deadzone), a sprue of shredders, and a progenitor (this actually ended up as a pair or progenitors, as they shared the same sprue for pieces).

Warpath nightmares - all with hand weapons and small guns - not worth the extra points, though you can give them a ray pistol for free if you want.
The nightmares (I really want to call them shredders for some reason) are just more of what you already got in the Quarantine pledge - you would now have enough to try giving them a big drill, a pair of drills, or a two-handed drill (I think there is a theme here).  (Pictures on my previous post).

The progenitors are interesting, in that the way they were produced, they ended up always coming in pairs (2 heads on a bit of sprue, arms on sprue pieces as well).  Not a big deal, however these are leaders, and you can explicitly only take one leader.  So here is hoping you can take more in Fire Fight / Warpath to use all of these.  You can however make both the base model or a version with the spitter (sniper) rifle - and we all know how good snipers are in this game!
Progenitor - seem to always come in pairs

and the backs
 Next comes the veer-myn beast booster.  This contained two of the big baddies - a Brood Mother and a Night Terror, as well as a stalker / crawler sprue.  One thing about that sprue is it appears it has all the bits to create the Malignus Chem Thrower as pictured in the book - yet another reason not to need the old warpath nightmares.

The night terror is a big monster that can either be equipped with scythes to give it AP1 in close combat, or a Heavy Chem Spitter that is R5, AP3 (and a shoot of 5+, plus the fight going from 4 to 5+),  This was originally going to be metal, but became plastic like several other models did.  It is nice that it has different arms and heads as well as the weapon options.  This is a model that I do wish they would have included more of, as I want at least one of each option.  Can you believe Mantic is going to make me actually have to go out and buy a veer-myn booster to get another - it is almost like they are out to make money or something.  (I'll also get another brood mother and rumbler weapon platform in it, so that is good - but the five more warpath nightmares?)
Night terror pieces
The brood mother is the second leader for veer-myn.  Her special rule is interesting as she can have grunts jump in the way when she is shot at - so it can make her much harder to take out with ranged weapons.  The model comes with the chem-staff.
Brood-Mother pieces
and back
The third veer-myn booster was the Heavy Chem Thrower.  This came with two more progenitors and the Rumbler Weapon Platform (with options to make either a super heavy chem thrower (R3, AP2, Volatile, It burns, Heavy) or super heavy chem spitter (R8, Ap2, Weight of Fire(1), Suppression, Heavy).  At the same point value, I like the spitter MUCH more, but that is just me.
Rumbler weapon Platform with crew
and the backside
The next choice was the plague booster.  This came with a sprue of the plague zombies, and the new 1st Gen Aberation - original to be done in resin but now in plastic.

Five plague zombies are flavorful and balanced - however you take 18 of these and it is way overpowered (since they are not worth any VP).  I really look to see these as one of the first things adjusted - the zombie swarm list seems way overpowered (I watched a game with it, and the swarm ability on the zombies makes them some of the most effective close combat models in the game (like anywhere, one zombie is no big deal - but when you move a 4th into a cube to attack - he now gets 8 dice (3 + 1 move + 1 friends + 3 swarm) - OUCH.

plague zombie sprue.  I really need to put some of these together and try some of the solo zombie scenarios
and the back
The plague aberration is a monster in all ways.  Plus it is just a beautiful model.  Even bigger than the normal stage one - just remove the old adage of "shoot the big ones first" - you do not ever want to let this guy get in combat with your troops (as a plague player - use you move dice + sprint to advance as fast as possible into combat while staying behind terrain - even though he is size 4 and has armor 1 he can still be taken down with concentrated fire (though a friend wants to give him an energy shield!)

I think this is just a great model

The head is a little small - but when you figure this started out as a human . . . 
Dry-fit together from the front
and the back to show off some of the great detail.
The asterian faction booster comes with two weapon drones and five of the new Kalyshi - these (unfortunately) stayed in metal - and I've heard several people saying that they are fairly fragile with the thin pieces on them.

The weapon drones are almost a must for asterians - though (unfortunately) you do not get any duplicate parts for these - so you can't build these identically.

Drones, with choice of Shield Generator, Plasma Vortes or Pulse Bombard
Kalyshi - both male and female.
Last up is the single miniature booster - but that will have to wait for next time.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mantic Open Day 5/21/16

So it looks like another ManticOpen Day has come and gone.  Not only am I an ocean away, but I headed in the opposite direction this weekend, visiting family in Oregon.

But is that going to stop me from trying to grab as many new pictures to share?  Of course not.

@FistyGlueMan on twitter is agreat source of information.  Whether this is actually someone at Mantic or just a rabid fan, this feed always has great pictures from open days.

(This is the first time I have tried to write a blog post from my kindle fire, so I hope it works ok)

Just to be different (and because it is the order that blogger loaded them) let's start with The Walking Dead.  First up, painted minis for the game

The Walking Dead:All Out War minis

Really like the Glen mini

Dale in his fishing hat / vest is great
Some up close pics of the walking dead unpainted minis

Warpath is coming with new plastic minis.  First some of the Asterians (sprue pics at the bottom)

Plague 3A's are also getting new hard plastics

During the presentations, Mantic also showed off renders of upcoming models.  THESE ARE NOT FINAL MODELS AND MAY CHANGE.
GCPS troops

Tortured souls

Empire of Dust Heroes

Empire of Dust Enslaved Guardians

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

Plague dogs? Hell hounds?

Plague Mule

Earth Elementals (tthis was supposed to be the first time the were shown to the public)

GCPS mule

GCPS Heavy Weapons

Forge Fathers Hultr Halftrack
 Ok, nowsome pics of the new sprues - first the Asterians
Asterian Marrionettes

So with this small sprue I'm going to guess that these will be separate in a little bag
 Then the plague

Because it is all fun and games . . .