Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gaming, terrain, and theory - oh my!

The last couple of weeks have been a mish-mash of hobby related activities so I figured I would share some of my experiences and thoughts as I get back on track with terrain building and gearing up for the Da Boyz GT in November. Next week I will try to get up a battle report or two with a game I have scheduled with Hyv3mynd for tonight. We are both running lists that we want to test out for the next monthly tournament at Millennium Games and depending on how the games goes I would like to work in a narrative element into the report along with the awesome pictures Hyv3 always takes during the games. But until then here is a brief recap of what I have been doing the last few weeks.


In terms of gaming, two weekends ago I ran a last man standing lock-in event at our local games store, Millennium Games. We had 8 people turn out for the event, which is smaller than I was hoping for, but we still had a blast. Each player brought a 1250pt list and battled it out through a 4 way free-for-all over a series of 3 games. We also had a pub quiz and a painting competition during the night. In terms of format, I though the games ran smoothly, although we did not wrap up the event until almost 6:00am in the morning. Most lock-ins tend to wrap up around 3:00am but I think the nature of the format made for longer games, with most only making it to turn 4 each game.

One of the 4 way free for all battles that featured Death Korp, Dark Eldar, Orks, and Chaos Marines.
I was also invited to play an Apocalypse game this past weekend with the guys from Beef n' Wing. They are a gaming group out of Buffalo, NY who over the past few years have attended many of the Rochester events and have become good friends with our group. If you attended Adepticon this year they were the group who brought the pre-heresy Emperor's Children army for the team event. We played roughly 35k points (about 16-17k worth of points per side) of Chaos versus the forces of the Imperium. This was only my second game of apocalypse ever and my first one using the new rule set. We played for about 14 hours and in the end the forces of Chaos prevailed. For those who have never played apocalypse before it is a ton of fun, even if you do not have many super heavies or forge world models. It's all about fielding everything that you can and having fun while doing it.
Chaos drops in behind the lines.

The Blood Angels try to reclaim the town from the forces of Chaos but the might of a chaos warhound is too much for them to  handle.

Terrain building has been on-going but at a slower pace due to real-life and games taking place over the past few weeks. The tyranid ripper pads are just about done but I figured rather than breaking the how-to article up over a few more weeks I would wait and type it all up in one post.

I have also been wracking my brain on what kind of terrain I want to do for the Da Boyz this year. For as long as I have been attending, the Da Boyz GT has allowed players to bring their own tables and terrain to help add variety and unique playing environments to the GT. I think this is a great idea since so many other GTs seem to have the same cookie-cutter terrain supplied by the TO's and more often than not when you read the after-event reviews some of the most common complaints is that the tables lack terrain or they all look the same. This is not a knock against the TO's as they have enough to do just to organize the event and trying to supply terrain to over 50+ tables is a logisitical nightmare so I applaud the organizers of the Da Boys for allowing players to bring their own tables/terrain. To sweeten the pot, they award prizes to the top three tables (voted on by the players). In the past I have made a train depot board, modular city ruins, and a jungle ruins board. So this year I am starting out earlier than normal to come up with a unique and different table to bring to the event. When I am working on a set of terrain or a table I try to come up with a story or reason as to why the two sides are there. This helps narrow my focus on the terrain so that it actually looks like a real environment rather than a bunch of ruins and hills placed on a table. This year I am toying around with doing something like a Eldar Maiden world, a winter themed imperial outpost, or a swamp based research facility. All would present some unique looking terrain and provide some challenges to create.
My Train Depot board

Modular city ruins set up on a 4x4 board

Sample of some of the jungle ruins I have created for last years GT.

Last week Hyv3 posted an article with his views on how he sees 6th edition and its impact on the overall progression of the game so I figured I would chime in on those sentiments. Like Hyv3, agree that GW has brought the 40k universe into the Golden Age of miniature gaming and I have never been this excited when looking at the prospect of getting in some games. Like Hyv3, I agree that two of the biggest factors for this turn of events is the inclusion of the allies rule and the pace in which GW has been pushing new codexes, supplements, and models. But where his article focused on competitive/tournament play, I want to focus in on "relaxed" games.
I got into warhammer during the tail end of 3rd edition but did not get many games in during 3rd or the early days of 4th edition. 5th edition was all about playing tournaments until I started to really get to know the local players and forming friendships. With 6th edition out for a full year now I have been playing a lot more games in a laid back and story driven format. While I still like to play in competitive events I find the prospects of setting up a game on the weekend at someone's house a lot more fun.
Themed game with Grey Knights vs Word Bears. Here Mordrak faces off against a defiler.
The allies matrix really allows the fluff player in me to explore new lists and play themed battles. The rate in which GW is releasing new books, supplements, and models is also a huge boon to the hobby. In previous years I almost never touched my Tau, especially in a competitive environment as they were just not geared up to handle the 5th edition meta. But now I can't wait to get in some games with my Tau. With Codex Eldar being released a month or so later I was in gaming heaven! Two solid codexes with a variety of new models has opened up a new world of gaming possibilities and playing styles. 

The release of supplement codexes is also something that I think most gamers are looking forward to as well. With Iyanden and Farsight out now and the prospects of The Black Legion and White Scars coming soon, I can see a whole world of possibilities open to the casual gamer who wants to recreate famous battles or events from the 40k lore. I know lately I have been thumbing through my Cities of Death and Planetstike books with the thought of setting up a friendly campaign or setting up some Kill Team type games that escalate into themed battles using the aforementioned supplements.

So, with 6th edition out for a full year now, what are your thoughts on the direction of the game? Has it prompted you to look at playing more themed or narrative driven events or do you prefer the more structured setting of a tournament? Do you find yourself and your gaming group playing more games or less?

1 comment:

  1. I have been playing so much warhammer lately! Both systems are in their prime IMO and honestly I cant get enough. The only thing stopping my imagination from running wild on the battlefield is the icy cold grip of my girlfriend around my wallet.(jk...but seriously) I just cant possibly do everything I want.