Grind and Whine

Grind and Whine
Epic Whining on a Global Gaming Scale

Friday, September 30, 2011

Skirmixed up!

My favorite scene in Silent Hill the movie was the nurses...

How could you not want to play a game with units like this?!

Just to keep everyone calm, I'm still head over heels in regards to Warmahordes. But variety is the spice of life and bllod spattered nurses fighting Zombie Hookers is SPICEY VARIETY I can munch on!

The game is Malifaux and as I read more about it and look at the minis I get more and more intrigued.
Yeah... That's right its an undead zombie CHIHUAHUA!!!! For whom the Taco Bell tolls indeed....

"Steamvictoriahorrorwestpunk" That's the genre title for Malifaux and its super apt. Though I prefer the shorter version; Bacon Punk. Like spaghetti Westerns?
Check out Perdito, a Texican hottie gunslinger!
Like your women a bit more on the fantasy side? Here ya go....

But in all seriousness how can you not be enticed by a game that boasts a miniature called Teddy and looks like THIS:
Malifaux's universe is so diverse it allows for a tremendous variety in the miniature range. Its gaining in popularity because of this and the different take on game mechanics. Something akin to Confrontation with the cards being in a certain order and alternate activations.

Check out their site and let me know what you think....

From the other side of the table,
Eric J

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's all Ray Harryhausen's fault...

I am a child of the 50's truly, despite being born in 1960. My brother, 9 years closer to the ferryman than I used to get home circa 2am after playing some gig at whatever local blues/rock dive at which his band was booked and wake me up. It was his influence that instilled my love of Hendrix, Creem, Traffic and Procol Harum.
But a deeper more meaningful obsession was budding. One that shaped my life in many respects...
He would wake me up, egg creams and pretzel rods at the ready and flip on the TV for a double feature of Chiller Theater and Creature Feature. One of my earliest memories is of a real drive-in classic The Neanderthal Man.Relax... It was cheesy as hell but I was like seven. IT ROCKED! I went on to such classics as Invasion of the Saucermen starring Frank Gorshen, the original Joker from the 60's TV camp version of Batman. And one of my favorites to this day; The Monster that Challenged the World. I mean, giant mollusks... FRIGGIN AWESOME!
There were some amazing films in amongst the sea of B's. Howard Hawk's The Thing is still close to a perfect movie. The dialogue is still impressive in its flow.Of course the original, The Blob from 1963 was a regular Creature Feature saturday afternoon thing... Pardon the pun. And if you look at the poster you can see the start of the career of a hollywood icon; Yep, Steve McQueen. Not that I cared when I was 9 or 10. It was the playdoe goop they called the Blob that got me excited.
But I think one of my fondest memories is of 1957's 20Million Miles to Earth. A Ray Harryhausen classic. If you're not sure who he is just ask. First I'll slap you flat across your face then I'll tell you like this; He is the great grandfather of sci fi and horror movie creature special effects. The God of claymation. You may likely know him from the ORIGINAL JAson and the Argonauts.
But it was his creature in 20 Million Miles to Earth that will always stand out in my mind. So real was the creature to this 7 year old and so expressive his features that I was rooting for the beast the whole movie. I had little 7 year old tears rolling down my cheeks when, in a hail of bullets and rockets the creature falls from the Coliseum to his death...
Harryhausen's body of work is impressive and it was the base fuel for many of my games as a child. I have been able to retain that childlike wonder and imagination and try to bring that to the gaming table as well. So when my wife asks why I spend so much time ... and money... playing those silly games I simply reply,
"It's all Ray Harryhausen's fault."

Next up we'll explore some of my favorite fantasy films, or maybe reminisce about Hammer Films... Feel free to post up some of your favorites as well...

From the other side of the table,
Eric J

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lights... Action.... Wait.... something's missing!

Played a good game today vs a buddy new to the game. 25 points of my pGore Cryxx vs his pButcher Khador. Planned to take pics and do up a proper batrep.

Remember before technology got us just short of Transporters? You know, like the ones Capt. Kirk used to planet hop in search of green skinned strippers? Well back then the only thing you could use to take pics with was a camera, an honest to goodness celluloid packed BIG (as in a pound plus) picture taker. Hang that thing around your neck and you never forgot it.

Now, we got them fancy phones what does everything including taking pictures. So of course I forget to take any photos because, of course its a PHONE!! I did however takes pics of the second game... 'cept I wasn't in the second game...HA!

We played Killzone and despite John's super newbie status we had a tough battle. We both set up the majority of our forces on my left flank but John left his unit of Widowmakers and the sniper by the right flank control zone. I was fine with that as I knew through attrition I would not be able to hold and contest both. So I hoped for a caster kill.

We both advanced but I played aggressive from the start and he played way too defensively IMHO. He deployed the Butcher behind his three Man'oWars who were behind his Kodiak and his Beast. A gridlock alert worse than any caused by a presidential visit to New York City.

I ran my Pistol Wraiths up to put some pressure on the Butcher and moved my Mech Thralls up to prep for a charge on the Man o'Wars. Both my Nightmare and Slayer were priming themselves for max damage. My beloved Machine Wraiths floated up field borne on a wind of malice.

pGore threw Shadowmancer to protect against John's ranged attacks.

John's Widowmakers killed several Mech Thralls and he threw Iron will on his jacks.

My turn I moved up the Mechs, got a Pistol Wraith in position and shot at the Butcher, missing EVERY SHOT! I took a shot with the other who also apparently left his trigger finger at home.

Like an old man at an orgy, lots of motion but just shootin' blanks...

However; both my Machine Wraiths took over BOTH HIS JACKS! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

John's turn he was able to eject one wraith from the Beast. Then he moved up his Moan 'o Wars single file to get into melee with the remaining Mech Thralls and a P Wraith... It was a massacre as the "man-jacks" killed the already dead...

The butcher forgot to throw magic at the ejected M Wraith so I reunited his incorporealism with the Beast... John was not happy!

I moved up the other P Wraith shooting at the Widowmakers missing once again... AAARRrrrgghhhh!

It was krumpin' time...

After allocating focus I charged the horror known as the Nightmare into the Man o' Wars... Afterwards the Nightmare spread them on his toast... You know.... like jelly... get it...

I moved the possessed Kodiak out of the way and...

T'was then that I popped pGore's feat and brought the Bane Thralls to bear. They charged the Butcher and in an epic flurry of Weapon Master attacks did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Yup... Missed every attack.

John's turn had him eject another wraith, shoot and kill the other Pistol Wraith and then activate the Butcher. Having used up focus to eject the Wraiths he had little left for combat but enough to kill 3 Bane Thralls....

I had been given a golden opportunity and I took it...

I moved pGore up with the Deathwalker then charged Tartarus into the Butcher. Now he was at -2 to his Def, Arm and Strength....

Tartarus butchered the Butcher...

Game over! The 1 point Machine Wraiths were absolutely the MVP's of the game and a real pain in the armor for lists like John's that lacks in magic weaponry...

Aaahhhhh.... CRYXX! Love them little dead bastards...

Just wish I had that GIANT Nikon I had when I was 23...
From the other side of the table,
Eric J

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Going to where the fun is...

I ask you, would she lie to you? Yeah... That's right...

Awright... So I wrote a piece about the reasons to jump to PP's Warmahordes. I've been debating and arguing and validating the reasons why I and thousands of others would rather/should rather play Warmahordes. I'd repeat them here but all you need do is look at the post below this one and you'll find most of the reasons and argument for shelving those 850 GW minis and grabbing PP's Prime MkII.

But ya know, I've come to the realization that it all flat out boils down to one very simple thing. One over-riding reason why I, and I suspect many others are meeting over tabletop make- believe battlefields all over the globe not to hurl mighty Winds of Magical Storms or to descend on your enemy with a hoarde of regenerating, invulnerable, stubborn and fearless troops numbering four score but simply to throw down and mangle some metal with anywhere from 5 to 50 models full of mangled metal, steampunked mayhem!

I guess you want to know my reason, eh? Enough pontificating? Is the anticipation just tOO MUCH FOR YOU??

Well here it is....

Are you ready for it??

Its absolutely revelatory, startling to the point just short of EPIPHANY!!

I m having fun. Did I say that too low? I AM HAVING FUN! Warmahordes is simply much more fun for me than any GW game.

OMG... I said it... I'm having fun. The Geek Police are probably swearing out a warrant for me right now. This is NOT supposed to be fun, is it? Its supposed to be serious!!

Well, I got enough serious in real life. I don't need it in my gaming life... The place I go to escape.
Its party time and I'm bringing my Deathwalker cause she is a real party girl and she wants to party with you...

From across the table,
Eric J

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Different Battle on Another Field

I write a quarterly article for The Bellower Ezine published by The Ogre Kingdoms. Below is the original article I wrote that was rejected in place of another piece I did. I feel it important enough to put it out there;

A Different Battle on Another Field

There’s a battle raging. A big one and the stakes are high. It is in many ways a classic David and Goliath scenario. This modern day David, however has more than just one stone to load into his sling. It’s a battle for the hearts and minds of Hobbyists (or Gamers depending on perspective) the world over. I am of course speaking of the current turbulence roiling amongst Games Workshop and Privateer Press.

A little personal history first;

Once upon a time I managed a gaming shop, a pretty successful store. GW was the mainstay, 40k, Fantasy, even Mordheim. I was a regular at all the GW GT’s. To give you an idea as to how Gandalfian I am; I was at the second GW GT EVER! This was way back when it was at the Baltimore Airport Holiday Inn. There was only one GT back then and it was as much about the Beer as the battles. It was a revelatory time. But nostalgia is a dangerous thing. It skews our perception of the present… Sometimes.

I was a devotee of all things Games Workshop. I was a play tester for the miniature giant and in fact had a good hand in developing the Sisters of Battle for the Witch Hunters Codex. I’m there, in the special thanks section. Even wrote a couple articles for White Dwarf. 3rd ed ruled and all was right with the world.

I can’t say for sure how I was introduced to Warmachine though I know it was circa ’04 or ’05. I can tell you though that I was hooked, instantly. The simplicity of the rules, Page 5 and the models all combined to make a compelling and fun game. More than that the gamer that seemed to be attracted to WM was different than I had become used to. At the first Steamroller, the name for the big WM tournaments back then there was an attitude of camaraderie that seemed to be ebbing in the GW arena.

I was in…In like Flint! Built a gorgeous Cryxx force and introduced the game to the store at which I managed. It took off like a wildfire set by Kreoss of WM’s Menoth faction. It was all the rage and once again all was right with the gaming world. When does that EVER last?!

PP inevitably screwed up their rule set turning the game into a war of denial where the victor wasn’t the player who outplayed the opponent but rather disallowed the opponent to play any sort of game. That Cryxx army, which won me two Steamrollers and was the first WM Horde army was also the only force I ever traded away. So pervasive was my disgust. I was not alone.

All throughout that time however I never stopped playing 40k or WHFB. GW’s rich histories and universes keep me loyal but now, some six years later has that loyalty been tested to the breaking point?

A good question IMHO, and one that is being asked by more and more gamers across the globe. Fantasy’s 8th ed was a breath of fresh air after the stale chess-like feel of 7th ed. But this “unbreakable” edition proved to be the fastest to fall under the gargantuan wheels of the war wagon known as the Meta-Game. In short the game has become about monster size units and nuclear magic wiping out whole units and characters in a single die roll.

The Tournament scene, and ipso-facto the local gaming scene fell victim to “Play it this way or don’t play it at all.” I as well as many… MANY others became increasingly disenchanted with Fantasy and 40k.

Enter David…

My buddies had been trying, with little success to get me to give Warmachine, (or Warmahordes as it is affectionately referred to now), another try. They pleaded, cajoled, bribed and inebriated me until finally, worn down by the weight of a thousand geeks I gave in. But so strong was the GW hold on me that I wallowed in guilt and shame reducing my Citadel paints to wash with my tears of betrayal.

I had a deadline, a friend was running a Warmahordes tournament and my presence was requested. I might have said no but the enticement of an unsealed bottle of Makers Mark was too much for this old salt to deny. I frantically painted up a Cryxx force and off I went.

This was about six months ago. It was, without going into detail the most refreshing gaming/tournament experience I had in years. I played 4 games, got bull whipped each game and had an absolute blast.

I have not played one single game of Fantasy since. I have not paid for a single GW miniature since. I have not painted a single GW mini since.


My LGS once boasted 20 participants for a Fantasy tournament. The number now struggles at 6. Our monthly Adults only gaming night formerly ran short of tables for the amount of Fantasy and 40k players. Now we vie for table space between FoW and Warmachine.

Of course the big question is , why?

Well…Here are just some compelling reasons even if they are mostly my opinion.That is the advantage of writing one’s own article after all…

I love Zombies…Always have. I am a Horror addict and Zombies have long been my favorite to the bane of my parents as a youth to the scourge of my wife as an adult. So it followed, logically that I built a Vampire Counts army based on the Undead hordes of Zombies. It was a simple list; Loads of zombie units each led by a Strigoi Vamp. I lovingly converted every single one of the 90 dead heads in the army. All of them.

GW then decided that Characters were no longer allowed to join Zombie units. Suddenly my investment of love and sweat and hundreds of dollars became unusable without compromise and additional investment. Imagine how upset and disappointed I became.

I was not alone.

Along comes 8th ed. I’ve elucidated on the issue in previous articles and here as well. Again, I am forced to invest more and change my desires for my hobby to NEEDS. I am a miniature hobbyist out of desire… not NEED. Forcing me to invest hard earned cash to swell your coffers is not a good business plan. Not when there are choices out there.

I am not alone.

So I pick up Warmahordes again but face a dilemma. I really want to play a list in MKII similar to what I played 5 years ago in Prime. I build a list consisting of ALL Prime models knowing full well that I am doomed to failure… But in their new found wisdom PP has made sure that all the Prime models can integrate successfully in MKII.

HUH? WHAT? So my investment isn’t made worthless and meaningless?

Then comes the rule set. There is a fundamental difference between philosophies here:

GW, as stated by their own selves, is a miniature model company that makes rules so you can play with their models.

PP is a GAMING company that makes miniatures with which to play their games. They are populated with gamers developing rules and listening to other gamers the way GW USED to be.

GW will never, or at least not in the near future go away. Nor do I want them to. But the fact is that there is a younger, sleeker and hungrier upstart out there who have learned and continue to learn from their’s and GW’s mistakes.

And Iam not the only one who thinks so.

Yes, I know this doesn’t seem like a topic for an article about GW and Ogre Kingdom devotees. But it is a topic that can, is and will affect most of us…

From the other side of the table…

Eric J

First Steamroller in my Journeyman League

at Maplewood Hobby...

First off I had a blast. Once again the atmosphere is just completely different than at any GW tournie I have been to in years. Great bunch of guys were in attendance with a nice assortment of factions amongst the 12 players of both WM and Hordes.

I went 1 and 2 with 2 of my games being real nail biters.
First game vs Rollins' Minions. The missions were all Killbox as its meant to be simple as we learn and progress. This was a tough list. We advanced and got our casters into the Killbox zone.

I knew that his entire force of 'gators were all going to be beat down bags so I decided to move quick and pop early. I Mageblighted each turn which shut him down. I slammed into his giant warbeast with my SLayer who did a good deal of damage (and then we were both knocked down as he attacked with Deathroll and mangled me badly). Then I sent my Banes into his unit of smaller 'gators. It took me a couple turns to kill off these 2 attack, 8 box horrors but I did.

I killed off one of his solos with my Pistol Wraith and dispatched another 'gator with the other. He returned melee killing all my Banes and stood his gator warbeast back up. I slammed my Banes into his Warlock, Barnabas dealing much damage WHICH HE THEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER MODEL...AAARRRRRGGGHHHH!

It was dice down. I won 9 to 8... whew.... tough game but I took the victory...

Second game was vs Joe's Legion, who would go on to win Overall. OMG what a tough list. He had some ability that made Stealth useless. And his feat was to bring back any dead warbeast...

So my plan was to avoid the big warbeast and kill what I could. As this was another Hordes army I used my M Wraiths as a meat shield for pGore. Problem is that he had these 2 models, "Martyrs" that work like single use arc nodes. A broken cheater tactic if I ever saw one :rolleyes:

Let's just boil this down to his channeling Obliteration, a POW15 AOE blast right onto pGore. He hit me doing massive damage. So I threw Bleed on myself. killed one of his infantry and healed 3 boxes. Kind of a waste as he hit me with Obliteration again next turn and pasted Goreshade. Loss to Cryxx...

Last game vs.... Ray O'Dowd's pGORSESHADE!!! Hysterical.

Game consisted of lots of manouvering. I popped first, I killed The Banes he started on the table, he killed mine. I killed his Tartarus, he killed my Tartarus. BUT I was able to possess his Harrower nasty jack with a Machine Wraith. He couldn't eject and I used it to kill his Deathwalker. I could not however hit Gore.

He pops and adds a fresh unit of Banes, I kill his solo and move Gore back. He advances and kills one Wraith ( my P wraiths had killed 3 Banes and then died to Tartarus). He then ejects my M Wraith.

My turn I retake his Harrower jack with the remaining M Wraith and Soul gate my Slayer behind his lines.

His turn he ejects the M Wraith with his last roll and its DICE DOWN! I lost the game with his last roll as he took back the 9 points for the jack I would have earned owning his jack.

Again an absolute blast of a game!

Really a great day. I am really enjoying Warmahordes!!!!

Eric J