Friday, August 22, 2014

Gencon 2014 Review!

Man O Wars are bigger then Spesh Mehrines, GAME OVER!

So now that's it's almost been a week and you probably have read 50 billion other Gencon reviews, here's mine!

I drove down to Indy from the greater Chicagoland area on Wednesday and it was only a 3 hour drive. It felt longer because it's such a boring drive, there's nothing except a decent sized wind farm on the way there. I had my brother with me in the car and he kept me sane thankfully. This was also his first time going to Gencon so he was full of nothing but excitement the entire time. My wife was unable to make it due to lack of vacation time at work, and that sucked because things didn't feel the same without her there.

Thursday I hit the vendor hall with my brother and we walked up and down every single aisle in the span of about 3 hours. The vendor hall actually grew this year, they added about 4 more aisles. If they make tabletop games or anything associated with them, they were there. Apparently they also made the aisles wider, but it was still asses to elbows almost the entire time. The attendance record was crushed on the very first day and I totally believe it, the sea of humanity was endless. I got to witness a mad Black Friday eque run on the Wizkids booth. People were pushing, elbowing, yelling, screaming and trying to do anything they could to get a better spot to get their Gencon exclusive Zombie Galactus. There were like 6 employees standing around screaming at people trying to keep things organized. It was pretty damn chaotic but luckily no one got hurt.

There was quite a bit to see and I could write a novel on everything that I did see. Privateer Press was busy the entire time. I picked up some pins and got the new Circle Warlock which looks freaking amazing. Bad news is you can only take Wolds with him and I own none :(. Wyrd on the other hand had a huge ghost town looking booth, by huge I mean it was as big as Privateer's. I think they regret using the ghost town theme because with the exception of opening time on Thursday and raffle time on Sunday, it was a ghost town. All the henchmen could be seen sitting at the same table together because no on was getting demos. Kind of shows how things went for Malifaux ever since their edition change and art style chance (which I actually hate more). I can honestly say Wyrd was the only booth I saw that had very little foot traffic. Every other booth had steady foot traffic the entire time.

Fantasy Flight Games probably had the largest booth (again). The things that got me excited over there was Armada, which is the Star Wars fleet battle game that should be out at the end of the year. The models were beautiful and the game looked very fun. They also showed off the 3rd faction for X-Wing, Scum and Villainy! You get to play as either criminals or bounty hunters and some of the ships look very cool. They also had a beta for The Witcher Adventure Board Game and the designer from Poland came out to do demos. He was a super cool guy and he loved tormenting and killing the players, why? Because (in his words) Adventure, that's why!

One booth had what I call the hit of the show, Golem Arcana. I say that because they totally sold out by Saturday. It's a war game with prepainted Golem figs that are about the size of a Warjack or Dreadnought. The game is played on a board that has squares on it. The gimmick to the game is that there's a pen that scans the base of the mini, the board and the cards that correspond with the minis. The pen syncs up to a tablet or iPhone through bluetooth and the app handles everything else, or you can choose to roll attack dice instead of having the app do it. It seemed like an awesome idea in theory but then I had a demo. The game plays very very quick because the app does everything for you, but that's the thing I don't like about it, I felt detached from the game. I didn't know if I was playing a tabletop game or a video game. The mechanics felt overly simple and I don't know if it's because of the rules or just because that app does everything for you. I can see how they can say that you have more time to think about tactics, but the game didn't feel very deep to me.

Obsidian's partnership with Paizo yielded an iPad game of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game which looked very sweet. That should be coming out in the fall. I also saw Hex, which is an online card game by Cryptozioc. It seems to be more like Magic The Gathering then Hearthstone. There were also video games for Shadowrun and a few other games that I can't think of off the top of my head, but this year's Gencon by far had the largest video game presence I have ever seen.

D&D was gangbusters as well at Gencon. They had their booth separate from the vendor hall and it was constantly packed. My panels that I signed up for were super fun. Storytelling with Greenword, Evans, Salvatore and Zubb was a ton of fun. It was great to finally met Salvatore and I was cool about it, all I did was shake his hand and say thank you for all you've done. Rolling a 5th Ed Character with Mike Mearls looking over my shoulder was awesome. My brother was in on that as well so he got to roll up his first character with the lead designer helping him through it. Kobold Press' panel on Tyranny of Dragons was an excellent panel as well. I've been a big fan of Wolfgang's work and he's such a cool and funny dude. Hearing how Kobold got recruited to write the adventure path and how they did it was very informative and shows that WoTC is being smart about things now by having other studios do some of the work for them. I also got to hear about some of the stuff that didn't make the final cut into the book, and some of those I'm using in my own campaign once I get it started.

Spin a Yarn with Greenwood and Evans was not quite what I expected. I thought it was a 2 hour panel on how to become a better story teller. What it actually was was a group brainstorming session that consisted of everyone in the crowd throwing ideas at Greenwood and Evans. They take all those ideas and take what they can from it and they collaborate on a story that will be published (not sure if in print or online) and it will be Forgotten Realms lore. Pretty cool huh? Needless to say I had a blast in this panel. My pyro side even came out because Greenwood asked for a certain spell and I immediately shouted out DELAYED FIREBALL!

I surprisingly didn't spend too much money on goods at the con, maybe $300 total (which is very low for me, ask my wife lol). As I mentioned I got some pins and a new Warlock from PP. I picked up World of Tanks Rush (deck building game) which also gave me a free premium tank in the game! Also picked up Ascension: Realms Unravelled. I always loved the artwork for this game so I finally gave it a try and it was super fun. I bought a couple of books, notably the Kobold Press Guide to World Building. Bought some dice and other nick nacks as well. I know Joe from the Screaming Heretics picked up the source book for Numenera and I hope he actually runs that game because I would love to try it out!

So overall it was a great Gencon. I would have had a ton more fun with my wife was with me, but what can ya do? It seems that video games are starting to have a larger presence at Gencon and I'm ok with that. D&D is awesome and it seems like WoTC feels like they're underdogs now because they're very very grass roots now. Pathfinder is easily the big 10 ton gorilla in the room, but competition only makes things better for us! There were so many other games I could have mentioned but this article is long as it is.

9/10, will go again!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gencon 2014

Sorry for the lack of posts, I got sucked into World of Tanks again...

So I'm at Gencon! Check out my twitter for any posts and pics I post up. 

@awesomelyblog

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Follow Up Post: This Is Why You Need To Be Careful On Kickstarter


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/324283889/potato-salad

At the time of this posting he's up to ~$58,000 just to make potato salad. Yea I'm not joking. No clue if it's classic, mustard or Amish...... If Kickstarter allows someone to do this, imagine how much other stupid shit pertaining to wargaming and RPGs are going to follow suit. I told you the requirements to post something have been loosened, I just had no idea it would be this loose!

Buyer Beware, for real!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's Here!!!!!!!!!!!

The Free D&D 5th Edition Basic Rules PDF has been released! Get it here!


Thank you WoTC for taking things in a new, and IMO correct, direction!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

40K Eternal Crusade or is it Eternal Cash Grab?

Anyone remember the first attempt at a 40K MMO? It was called Dark Millennium and was being developed by THQ. Well, long story short THQ went under, but Dark Millennium was getting the axe before that happened. There was barely any video of game footage released and it just ended up being vaporware.

Warhammer Age of Reckoning utterly failed as a MMO, mostly thanks to EA. Sucks because I bought into that game early and beta tested it quite a bit. What a crock of shit.

Stepping away from MMOs for a second, Dawn of War 1 was pretty good, Dawn of War 2, not so much. I understand DoW 2 was a reskinning of Company of Heroes but it just didn't work well. Bloodbowl was actually pretty good, they didn't try to do anything crazy with it, they just translated the board game to the PC, turns and all included. This pretty much ends the list of good games.

Other games using the GW IP have been pretty horrid. Remember Space Marine? That game was nothing but subliminal advertising to get you to buy more Space Marines. I swear the most times I heard the words Space Marine said in a minute in that game was 37. "Get the Space Marine!" "Looks it's a Space Marine!" and on and on. Fucking hell that got old quick. That game was nothing but bolter porn, and that's being nice.

Want to really laugh? Here's a list of all video games released that used GW's IP:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Games_Workshop_video_games

Wow, there's some real classics in there, Battle March? I poop socked while playing that game! Glory in Death? I still play it to this day! Storm of Vengeance? Screw Heroes of the Storm, this is the super elite pro MOBA!

As you can clearly see, video games based on GW's IP have had a piss poor record. The majority of them are flops and some were canceled because even the designers realized they sucked.

So now a company called Behavior Interactive is developing 40k: Eternal Crusade, which is a MMO. Yea, a real note worthy studio, everyone's heard of them! They've worked on absolute masterpiece games like Doritos Crash Course, High School Musical: Making the Cut!, The Awesome Kimpossible Series, SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge and last but not least Doritos Crash Course 2! So as you can see the game is in great hands.....

Now they've launched a Founders Program, which can been seen here:
https://www.eternalcrusade.com/founder-store

The model for the game is apparently buy to play (you buy the game and don't have to pay monthly fees) with a free to play option, but you only get to play as an Ork Boy. Founder's Packs start at $40, which is decent, but they top off at $450! What does $450 get you? I have no clue! It looks like in game money that can be used in a different cash shop for items. So it appears you get to unlock a different store to spend money in after you run out of the founder's pack money, wow!

Look, I understand MMO pay models, the company has to make money somehow, but some of this just doesn't sit right. You can pay $35 to gain access to a different weapon in the Rouge Trader shop, like a limited edition bolter. But it's only for access to that item, you don't even get it for that price!

I don't think I'm going out on a limb here, but stay clear of this future train wreck for the time being. Putting out these expensive ass founder's packs and promising early access to something we haven't seen too much video of this early into development is throwing up flags left and right. I'm pretty sure this game will continue the GW video game tradition of being canceled or just plain sucking.

I would have more faith in this if Brad McQuaid was in charge........ lol

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Going to Gencon!

I know I said in an earlier post that I will probably take the year off from Gencon, oops! Guess not! I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I finally decided that I should just go anyways. I have the vacation time already approved, have enough time to spend and hopefully will have someone to split the cost of the room with (looking at you Fletch!).

My brother will also be going to Gencon for the first time so I wanted to go so I could show him around. I also want to get him hooked on D&D. He's shown interest in it before and he's said he always wanted to try it but he would back out at the last second whenever I invited him. Now since he's going to the RPG mecha, there will be no way he can say no!

Which gets to the last reason why I want to go, D&D 5th edition! It'll be out right before the Con and they have a decent amount of events going on that I want to partake in. I just wish I made up my mind sooner so I could have gotten one of those WoTC Con passes that get's you into all WoTC games, along with swag. I did however sign up for quite a few events, 11 total, and hopefully I can get into a 12th with generic tickets. So here's what I signed up for so far...

Thursday:
Hitting up the vendor hall, hopefully I'll find my fill of stuff to buy before 3pm when my first event starts.
I have D&D Ready, Set, Play which is a basic intro to 5th ed and they go over rolling up characters with you. Should hopefully be pretty in depth since it's 2 hours. I'm dragging my brother and his friends to this because that should be a good intro to get them sucked it.
Cost: Only $2!
After that I have Story Telling in the Reams which is kind of self explanatory. The kicker to this is Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms) and R A Salvatore (my favorite author of all time!) will be there for 2 hours talking about Realms Lore and what's to come. Kind of hard to pass this up, especially considering the Ready Set Play takes place in the same room and ends right before Story Telling beings.
Cost: Free

Friday:
My day will start with the Tabletop Panel of Awesome. Cmon, it's Tabletop (Wil Wheaton's show) and it's in my hotel!
Cost: Free
I then have to walk over to the Crowne Plaza for Tyranny of Dragons with Wolfgang Bauer from Kobold Press (the guys writing the first adventure path for 5th ed). I'm really glad WoTC is letting other publishers make adventures for them again and this panel is supposed to shine some light on how Kobold got picked for this and what's to come in the future
Cost: Free
I then go back to the main Convention Center for Defiance in Phlan. This is 1 of the many D&D adventures that were written just for Gencon. I don't know if I can talk my brother and company into doing this with me because odds are we will be at a table with people we don't know, but I'll be willing to give it a shot. I've never done roleplaying at a Con before so hopefully my first time will be fun.
Cost $2
Later on in the night WoTC is throwing a Tyranny of Dragons launch party at that Georgia St area. It's like an outdoor festival area and there will be drinks there too! I've been to a launch party, but never a RPG launch party so this should be pretty fun. I'm sure all the big wigs and writers and designers will be there too.
Cost: Free

Saturday:
First I have Auntie Lisa's Story Hour. You might be thinking "WTF is that?" It's an hour sit down chat with Lisa Stevens, who is current CEO of Paizo and was in charge of D&D back in her WoTC days. As you can see, she's a pretty big deal so I jumped on the chance to sit and hear her story for an hour.
Cost: Free
I then have something called Play Better Games, Dammit! From what I've read it seems to be a panel discussion about making your gaming group and gaming sessions better. Problem solving, dealing with drama, etc which should help a n00b DM like myself. This might be one of the few events I would consider skipping if I'm too tired, hungry or still need to buy stuff
Cost: Free
I then get to see Mr Ed Greenwood again and this time he's bringing Erin Evans (another D&D author) with him and this is called Spin a Yarn. This goes over how to tell better stories. My goal as a DM is to weave awesome stories, not just facilitate combat and hand out loot and exp, so this is right up my alley. I also can't turn down another chance to listen to Mr Greenwood
Cost: Free
Now here is where I run from Crowne Plaza back to the main Convention Center to hopefully get into Corruption of Kryptgarden with generic tickets. This is a 3 hour mega rpg session with over 100 people total. This sold out pretty quick and was one of the main reasons to get the Con pass. From what I've heard, the mega sessions like this are pretty awesome and they are a must do. If I can't get in there's always next year I guess.
Cost: $18
Right after that WoTC is throwing some type of celebration thing. It's not listed on the events schedule but the Gencon forums mentioned something about this. I don't know what goes on at these, but hey, I'll swing by to check it out.
Cost: Free
Sunday
Only thing I signed up for (pickings are slim) is Secrets of Golarion. Golarion is the world setting made by Paizo for Pathfinder. Granted, I'm all about D&D right now but I still like Pathfinder and learning more about the world it takes place in is always a plus.
Cost: Free

As for any tabletop gaming, I'm taking a pass this year. I had a blast playing Dreadball last year at Gencon but it took a lot out of me. Tournaments just drain me, and there's so much to do at Gencon I would hate to wear myself out again on something like a Tournament. There's only 1 40K event going on (Apoc) which is 1 more then last year, lol. There is a lot of Warmachine, Malifaux and almost any other system you can think of going on at Gencon.

So as you can see once you get past the cost for the 4 day pass, travel, lodging and food most events that you can do at Gencon are free. Most of the seminars you can just walk into and nobody minds at all. They just think the more the merrier. I can understand the costs for the RPG sessions but that probably covers materials they give you. And in all honesty the prices aren't that bad. $2 to have people from WoTC teach me how to roll a character where the materials are provided? Sure I'm fine with that, it's cheaper than a bottle of water down there! $18 for a 3 hour mega RPG session? Sure why not, $6 an hour where I'm sure I'll get handouts and maps and stuff of the adventure, that's definitely reasonable.

The $150 for the WoTC Con pass seems a bit high. It was $100 last year and there was 28 hours or so of gaming that it covered and you got swag as well. This year's pass only covers 18 hours of gaming but you still get swag. Hopefully the amount of swag is worth the extra money. I'll be keeping an eye out for that.

So yea, I'm pretty damn excited! I'm kind of shocked I went from going to 1 event last year to 11 this year but I'm going in with a different mentality. I want to learn as much as I can from the pros, play with people I've never played before and hopefully get my brother and friends hooked on RPGs. I'll still be with the Screaming Heretic crew down there, but after 3 years of going and only attending 1 event, I really wanted to broaden my horizons.

This will hopefully prevent me from spending too much money in the vendor hall, which is easier said then done!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tech Alpha?! Hell Yea!!!

Look who just got into the Technical Alpha for Heroes of the Storm? No, I didn't get in because I blog or anything like that, I just opted in for it just like everyone else. My wife got an invite at the same time I did so I guess it goes alphabetically? Who knows how they do it.

HoTS is like League of Legends lite. I know some DOTA peeps out there already claim that LoL is for babies and they talk even more shit about HoTS but I don't care. HoTS is probably the most casual MOBA out there, but that's just perfect for me. I hate last hitting and items shops, I always felt it took too much away from what the main focus should be, duking it out. HoTS doesn't have last hitting and all experience is shared throughout the team. Matches are quicker (from what I've seen on Twitch) and more team fight centered.

Things are still instaling but I'll let ya'll know what I think of it. Blizzard normally does a pretty good job on everything they do, hope that continues.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Old Schooling It Up!

So I've been pretty busy lately. Work has been kicking my ass and I am starting my journey in BBQing with my new smoker. By this time next week I should be slow cooking a pork shoulder for 12 hours and hopefully it'll be edible.

Anyways.... I haven't been able to really do to much gaming lately. One thing did catch my eye yesterday, and I feel bad not being able to post about it until today. There is there awesome website that I hope most of you have heard about, but if you haven't prepare to read about something awesome.

GOG.com, or Good Old Games is a site run by CD Projekt Red (makers of The Witcher) that sells old school games with no DRM for a very fair price. A lot of these games are a pain in the ass to run on newer PCs but GOG has gone through the trouble to update these games to make they run easily on newer Windows OSes and sometimes even on OSX.

The reason I wish I could have posted about it yesterday is because they are currently running their summer sale. I picked up their entire Dungeons & Dragons game collection last night for $22. The collection includes Balder's Gate 1 and 2, Icewind Dale 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Planescape Torment, Dragonshard, Demonstone and The Temple of Elemental Evil. That's an insane deal! I have spent countless hours playing most of these games back in the day and I'm extremely excited about being able to delve back into these classics.

If D&D isn't your thing they have a ton of the old Ultima games, the old Fallout games, the old Wing Commander games, and even newer indie titles like FTL. All of them DRM free.

I hate to sound like I'm making a pitch, but I hope most of you know my style, I don't give lip service to anyone. If I go out and say something good about a product or company, it's because I genuinely love the product and want to share my thoughts about it with everyone. So go check out GOG, it's a pretty great site!

In other video gaming news, I let my subscription to Elder Scrolls Online expire. I liked the game and intend on going back to it but I guess I got burned out of questing. I got up to level 32 and finally made it to Windhelm (my favorite town in Skyrim) but I just needed a break.

I've also been keeping up with all of the D&D 5th edition news coming out of Origins and what I've heard just makes me more excited. But that's grounds for a different post.

So, enjoy the nice weather outside, feel free to BBQ and don't forget that it's World Cup Time! My money's on Uruguay!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dungeons and Dragons On My Mind



Dungeons and Dragons, the grandaddy of all RPGs, has been on my mind quite a bit as of late. If it wasn't for D&D I probably would have never turned into a tabletop gamer, it was basically the game that started it all for me.

I started playing D&D back in the glory days of 2nd Edition (AD&D with Skills and Powers FTW!) and played 3.0, 3.5 and most recently Pathfinder. I understand that nostalgia often clouds your vision, but I felt that I had the most fun back in 2nd Ed. Granted, it was the first system I played under and the campaign we all had back then was beyond epic (I'll do a post about it later), but it just felt simpler. 3.0, 3.5 and Pathfinder were good but it felt like there was sooooo many options that it began to weigh things down.

Pathfinder wasn't as bad as 3.0/3.5 but when I took my first steps into DMing Pathfinder I felt overwhelmed. Part of it could be the group I was DMing for consisted of 8 people (yea, I know, insane) but at times I felt like I was always fighting an uphill battle trying to keep track of multiple things at once and how certain mechanics worked. Tons of charts, prestige classes up the wazoo, Dan rolling a character that did nothing but grapple (I still hate him for that) and stat blocks for enemies that were waaay too wordy in my opinion made me take a step back from DMing for the time being. I would love to do it again, even with Pathfinder, but I would have to run it with a much smaller group.

Anyone and everyone that has played or is currently playing Dungeons and Dragons knows that 5th Edition, or D&D Next, or Basic D&D or whatever the hell they are going to call it is coming out this year. I was mildly interested at first but the more I read about it, and the playtest I was part of, the more and more I became interested.

For those who don't know, the beginner box is being released in July. The other cool thing is there will be a basic PDF released at the same time for FREE! I think Wizards of the Coast made a really smart move by doing this. It will let old timers who were not part of the playtest to see what the new rules are all about. It will also let people who play other systems or have never even played a tabletop RPG to check out the rules as well. WoTC claims that the free PDF will let you go up to level 5 with your character and everything you need (to some extent I would assume) will be in there.

As for the other books, WoTC is doing a staggered release. The Players Handbook is coming out in August and the Dungeon Masters Guide is coming out in November. WoTC clams they are doing this to make sure they get every book done right before it hits the shelves. Some are disappointed with this but I can see where they are coming from. WoTC only has 15 people (not counting playtesters) working on D&D at this time, and only half are working on D&D 5th. That's a pretty small development team compared to what they had in the past. Even Paizo has double the amount of people working on Pathfinder then WoTC has working on D&D at this moment. WoTC claims that a DM won't need the DMG to run things, but who knows how that will really turn out. I hope their claim is true but I would also like them to get things right before it hits the shelves, so hopefully it's worth the wait?

WoTC also has a 2 part adventure path coming out at the same time called Rise of Tiamat that takes place in the Forgotten Realms. Two cool things about this. First, it's being written by the awesome team at Kobold Press. WoTC outsourcing things to reputable companies is a really good sign because there was barely any of that going on in 4th edition. The second is the Kobold Press guys said that the Realms will not be as high magic as it was in the past. There will be no players walking around glowing like a Christmas tree because they have a ton of magic items. A much needed change of pace IMO.

D&D 5th, from what I've gleamed so far, is a bit of a throwback to 2nd Ed. There are still elements of 3.0/3.5 and even 4th (which I never played) in it, but it dials things back a bit. There are not as many charts, countless feats and prestige classes. I understand this can change in the future but from what I've seen it's much simpler. The rules also get rid of a lot of the + and - modifiers to rolls. Instead there is Advantage and Disadvantage. Instead of having to check the DM screen or rule books to see what bonuses you get when someone is stunned or prone or dazed you just get to roll 2 D20s and you take the highest roll out of the two. Disadvantage is reversed where you take the lowest of the 2. Things like this cut out a lot of clutter and would help speed things along. I had a rough time with remembered all the bonuses and penalties in Pathfinder so you can just imagine how much I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system. Every other part of game has been either condensed or simplified.

The feeling I got from the new direction WoTC is taking is they want the game to revolve around the story and narrative more than the combat. Combat isn't really taking a step back IMO, it will just run smoother and not take up as much time as previous editions. There seems to be more of an emphasis on Role Playing then killing as many bad guys as possible.

All in all, I'm very excited and can't wait to get my hands on the rules when they come out. Hopefully I can find enough time to cut my teeth on this edition with a small, dedicated group so I can get the feel of things. If D&D 5th does indeed feel more like 2nd Ed, I will be one happy nerd!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kickstarter: Buyer Beware!

Kickstarter was the hotness last year and it appears to be so again this year. There have been many great Kickstarter Campaigns that were funded and delivered an awesome product to the people who pledged. For example the two Kickstarters I have done, Reaper's Bones and Mantic's Deadzone, were hugely successful, my products were delivered on time and I was pleased with what I received.

There have also been some blunders out there where people are still waiting for their product or just didn't receive anything at all. Robotech is one example where pledgers have already waiting for far too long to receive anything from Palladium. Relic Knights was another one that was delayed multiple times.

There have even been some straight up scams, such as Asylum Playing Cards, which even has a lawsuit attached to it http://www.scribd.com/doc/221464947/State-of-Washington-vs-Asylum-5-1-2014.

There has also been controversy about one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time, Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift was purchased by Facebook for a pretty penny which caused a lot of backers to get furiously upset, as seen below.


I would be upset as well. If I had pledged I would have done so to help development of a new product, not to make the developers filthy rich by selling to Facebook.

So what am I trying to say in this post? Well things might get even worse in Kickstarter land. They just changed their rules and made it possible to start a project without it being vetted by a person, as seen on their website, https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/introducing-launch-now-and-simplified-rules-0. Oh, I'm sorry, they will have an algorithm do the vetting now if you choose to not be vetted by a person. Everything must be ok if it's just an algorithm! The only things that can not be posted now are anything that is illegal, regulated or dangerous. They also require the people behind the project to be "honest about what they're doing". So the honor system is in full effect when it comes to people's money. I'm sure that will just work perfectly....

Are you kidding me? People have already been ripped off and taken advantage of before the loosening of their rules, now they're just opening the floodgates to even more dishonest people trying to make a quick buck.
Considering Kickstarter has already seen a ton of gaming projects being launched on their site, I can see even more starting out now, and not all of them will be legit. Do your research and I would go even further and suggest that you only pledge as much money as you are willing to take as a loss. With the flood gates being opened, I can now see pledging on Kickstarter to be not much different than playing the Slot Machines in a casino, with Kickstarter taking the house's cut regardless of what happens.

Buyer Beware......

Monday, June 2, 2014

Audio Book Review: Templar

There is only duty.

Anyone that knows me finds it to be no surprise that I purchased this audio book as soon as it came out, lol.

I really don't want to spoil things for anyone but if you are a fan of the Black Templars or Imperial Fists I highly recommend buying it and giving it a listen. It's a little over an hour long but it gives great insight on Sigismund, the man who became the first Emperor's Champion and then Chapter Master of the Black Templars. There are also a few other extremely noteworthy characters in the story that have excellent interactions with Sigismund. I now have even more respect for Sigismund after listening to this. I really hope Black Library expands upon the story of Sigismund, especially his heroics during the Siege of Terra. This audio book definitely cements the Black Templars as MY chapter!

I wish it went more in depth but there's only so much ground you can cover in an hour on an audio book. The production quality is top notch. I have always been impressed by Black Library's audio books and this one continues the legacy of top notch voice actors and sound effects.

4.5/5 Stars from a rabid Black Templars fan boy!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

First Thoughts On 7th!

Only if I knew how to Photoshop, because 6 and 7 would have displayed a down trend on the assault cycle. But it's a pretty good display of the strength of assault in 40k. 3rd ed was crazy with Rhino Rush and all that so this chart is pretty fitting.

Before I start let me warn everyone that I have not played a game of 7th Edition, or 6th for that matter... lol. This will be an outsiders view of 7th edition. I borrowed the book from a friend and I read the rules and here are my thoughts.

Let me start by saying that I even though I don't buy into rumors until I actually get to read the rules, I kind of gave in and got extremely excited when I saw a rumor stating that consolidating into another unit after a successful assault like it was back in just like, at least in my opinion, the glory days of 3rd and 4th edition. And then I read the rule book and searched and searched and searched. Read and reread the whole damn thing and my heart was crushed! NOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOO! How could they?! 5th Ed got rid of consolidating into another unit, which hurt, 6th kept that status quo and added in random assault range and overwatch/snapfire along with terrain you can buy to slow down assaults even more, and 7th did the same, more or less.

The lack of consolidating into another unit after a successful assault really hampers assault armies IMO. You get penalized for smearing a unit in assault because you just open yourself up to gun lines, rapid fire weapons, etc on your opponent's turn. Smart players set up their army with bubble wrap. They're like "go ahead, kill that sacrificial unit, I'll just pump you full of bolters and las the next turn".

The game still feels like it is designed around shooty armies. I understand that some people might prefer it that way but I think assault needs more teeth. Assault armies used to be feared, as they should be. If I was a guardsmen I could handle being in a fortified position taking fire, but if someone is crazy or blood thirsty enough to charge my position and do it well, I might start to get a little scared. Assault is designed to wreak havoc on your opponents positioning. It makes the battlefield more fluid and less static. I think that in 7th there are plenty of things in the rules that already help gun lines deal with assault whether it be fortifications you can bring, overwatch/snapfire, random charge range, wounds being taken on the closest models, etc. IF consolidating into another unit was indeed brought back I think that it would still strike fear into people who play the static style, but they will still have enough tools to deal with it. If you roll well on overwatch/snapfire and can eliminate a good amount of the models that are at the front of the unit then their charge can fail, which opens them up to more incoming fire. That fortification you brought can stop a charge dead in their tracks as well. Shooty armies still have the upper hand in this edition and assault armies are still at a big disadvantage.

I know some will say "but you can still charge multiple units at once." Yes, I know that, but with all of the advantages shooty armies already have compared to assault armies, it makes it even more difficult to have charge range on multiple units. Also, most people these days set up their armies with multiple assaults in mind and try to space them out or stagger them out a bit.

Moving on, I like the mission cards. I'm not a competitive 40K player at all, as lame as it sounds, I'm all about the narrative. 40K is meant to be a fun game and the randomness can make some of the stupidest things happen, but that what makes it fun IMO. The mission cards (whatever faux latin name they gave them escapes me) just adds to this.

There's also the Psyker phase. I'm actually kind of glad they put Psychic Powers into their own phase, it makes it more like the Magic phase in Fantasy. I'm not too familiar with the new Phase so I can't comment on it too much but from what I've heard things can be a little broken at times. The summoning of demons thing is actually pretty cool in my opinion. I didn't really see anything new in the fluff but it seems a bit odd that Space Marine Librarians would be summoning demons. I internally rationalize this by thinking "shit, things but have gotten pretty desperate in the land of 40K that Space Marines are summoning demons." After all, the Golden Throne is supposed to be failing and our good old friend Abbadon is launching his 13th Black Crusade (for the 4th time already?). I understand that the Forging a Narrative section somewhat explains this, but it didn't explain enough. As I've always said, I would love it if they moved the narrative forward, even by an inch, and I would be frothing at the mouth, lol. I've read reports of people summoning in almost 1000 points of demons during a game. That's a little too much. I also don't quite understand how armies with no Psykers, such as my beloved Black Templars, deal with the Psychic Phase besides the +1 to Deny the Witch they get from Adamantium Will. No idea if that's any good or not. I do like the Perils of the Warp Table, adds a nice, fluffy touch.

There also the Battle Forged vs Unbound debate. My take on it, being the causal fluff guy that I am, is sure, why not. It's a tool that lets you make an incredibly fluffy themed list that might not have fit under the old Force Org. I also like how you get a bonus if you do use the Force Org, but I think they should  have gone a step further. Why not take a page from Warmachine/Hordes and do something like their Tier lists? The Tier lists limit you on what models you can take in a list, but they all fit a specific theme that follows the fluff, and there are nice bonuses for taking a Tier list as well, but they're not overpowered. I understand how people are concerned that all the WAAC offs will abuse the living hell out of Unbound lists, but I don't play against WAAC offs and I advise you do the same. As for the tournament scene, I don't care, I don't play competitively and 40K is just not a competitive game.

So overall, even though I have not played a game of 7th, I don't think it's too bad. I'm still pist off about the lack of buffs to assault, but hopefully if I ever get a game in I could possible house rule it in. If I am able to house rule it in I think it would make an outstanding article reporting on how it changed the game, for better or worse. I like the mission cards, Unbound is awesome for fluffy lists and the Psychic Phase seems ok as well, as long as you don't summon in 1000 points of demons, lol. I can see myself playing a few games of 7th just for shits and giggles. And that says quite a bit considering I never played 6th.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

The picture says it all.

Thank you to all the servicemen and women. We are eternally in your debt.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thinking About The Good Ole Days....

This pic is of the now closed GW Battle Bunker in Downers Grove, IL. More specifically it's a pic of how it was when I first started going there. Some of you might be asking why the hell are you posting about that place, I thought you hated it?! Well I did after a while but looking back I really miss the place.

I started going to the Bunker back in 2008 where I would meet up with Dan, Jon (Tau Jon, not The Baron) and Rich. I've know them since 2000 or so, maybe even earlier. We used to all play AD&D 2nd Edition (with Skills and Powers!) back in the day and one day I got a call from them asking me to meet up with them at the Bunker, so I did. I've always had an interest in 40K from years prior and I finally had a job that gave me the means to afford to get serious with the game. That one meeting at the Bunker turned into a weekly ritual. We would do mini campaigns, start rivalries between our armies and just shoot the shit about the hobby or anything in general. We would always wait for everyone to get there then do lunch at either Portillo's (which is a Chicago staple) or Burger King (which always gave me bad gas).

I was also introduced to Mack and became friends with him as well. Mack was a good addition to the crew because he was Mr Tournament player and none of us really were. He really made our group well rounded because all of us had different ways of playing and it really made things interesting.

This was also when I was invited to sit in on a recording session of Dice Like Thunder and I had a blast sitting in on it and eventually I was asked to become a part of the show. I had been listening to podcasts since 2004 or so, mostly listening to Video Game podcasts such as 1UP Yours and GFW Radio so the concept was not new to me at all. So every Friday after gaming at the Bunker we would record, which was great because we got to talk about our misadventures at the Bunker while it was still fresh in our heads. I was shocked that people actually listened to what we were talking about and actually wanted to hear more. It was very humbling, especially when going to Adepticon for the first time and have people talk to me saying they love the show. It was a very weird experience because I would just freeze in shock and just say the truth, we only do it because it's fun and I'm glad our little group can entertain you with our idiotic podcast, lol.

Then people started coming out to the Bunker on Fridays to meet up with us and play with us. The Bunker's location was perfect because it was centrally located and right off of a major highway. We met a ton of cool people and our regular Friday gaming group just grew because of it. This is how I met Joe, Chaos Dave, Roy, Fletch and the rest of the Screaming Heretic Podcast crew. We also met Dave and The Baron through regular Friday night gaming at the Bunker! We then started doing full blown campaigns and doing Apocalypse games here and there. My wife (that I was dating at the time) even started to come out every Friday! Our small group turned into a full blown gaming club but it was still small enough where we all would meet up and still do lunch all the time and bullshit about anything and everything. We would even hang out with each other away from the Bunker and we all became really good friends. The Dice Like Thunder Crew which would eventually turn into the Eternal Warriors crew would still record every Friday night after gaming at the Bunker. Everything was still the way it used to be, just on a grander scale.

I believe things started to change when we all started getting to other gaming systems, which we could not play at the Bunker. Price increases, people losing interest in 40K and other things made the ritual Friday meet ups less frequent. Regardless of why that happened, it was still a blast when he did it and I look back fondly at those days realizing that it might not ever be like that again. Life happens, people get married, have kids, move, work gets in the way and etc....

But if it wasn't for the Bunker I would not be writing this blog post right now and I would not have befriended a bunch of amazing people that I am still friends with to this day. Now, if we could only get TEW to record at least once a month, that would be great.... lol

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another trip to the Deadzone

 

Tonight me and the crew (Dan, Dave and John from The Eternal Warriors) all met up at Draxtar Games in Batavia, IL for some Deadzone! Dan and John have never played a game so I figured this was the best time to get them roped in.

I first had Dan and Dave play each other, Dan's Enforcers against Dave's Rebels, with me supervising and answering any questions. Dan found out the hard way that going hand to hand with a Teraton is not a good idea because Dave's Teraton cleaned house! Needless to say, the Rebels gave a good licking to the Enforcers and ended up winning the match.

I then had my Marauders (Orx) go up against Dan's Enforcers. Dan's mission was to secure a certain objective while mine was Infiltrate where I had to get as many of my troops across the off the table through Dan's deployment zone. I really like how this game gives both players separate missions to complete because it definitely livens things up and honestly 2 different forces will have different reasons for being in a Deadzone.

Dan learned how effective Blazing Away is in this game. Blazing Away is an action that targets a square, not a model, and it's mean to pin and suppress units in that square. If you succeed, your opponents models can be pinned, suppressed or actually take damage. When a model is pinned or suppressed you have to use a half action to either go from suppressed to pinned, or pinned to up and standing. Since you're only allowed to use 2 half actions a turn, Blazing Away can do wonders to screw up your opponent's plans. You can also wound or even kill models by Blazing Away because every success you get that takes an enemy model past suppressed is potential damage. Being in cover actually penalizes the defender when being on the receiving end of a Blaze Away. When you think about it, if you have cover around you and someone is laying down some suppressing fire, you sure as hell are going to cling to that cover to avoid being shot. Some units are designed to Blaze Away as effectively as possible, for example the Marauder's Rainmaker.....

Not only is this guy a walking gun show, he has a rule called Gun Crazy which forces you to roll on a table. Results of the table can either make you fire again with another gun (and he has plenty), stop shooting or your opponent can pick an unused weapon and also pick the target! The later happened in this game and Dan made my Rainmaker shoot and wound my Commando Captain.

Dan picked up on this and from there on out he almost entirely went for Blazing Away actions to pin down my units. I'm pretty sure the fact that 1 of my Commandos exited the table through his deployment zone gave away what mision I had, so kudos to him for picking that up and choosing an excellent strategy to prevent me from doing it again!

There are other facets to the game that I can go on and on about but I'll save that for upcoming articles. Today was a blast and I fell even more in love with the game! The other thing I realized is if you wanted to you can easily plug in 40K models that almost all of us have lying around. You can easily sub in a unit of Space Marines and just use the Enforcer rules, or even go ahead and do a count's as Inquisitor with retinue on the table and use either Enforcer's or Rebel's rules. Campaign rules are baked into the basic rule book and your units can even advance and gain new skills ala Necromunda.

So to wrap things up, Dan did such a good job of pinning my guys down most of them died, I only had 2 guys left when I finally decided to throw in the towel. As predicted, Dan is now hooked and can't wait to play again. John did not get a chance to play but he was watching and reading the rules and he is going to pick up the Plague, which in my opinion is such a cool faction. I like how Mantic made The Plague to actually be intelligent and not just randomly wandering zombies.

Now I need to stop slacking and start assembling and painting some permanent terrain, I'm talking at least 2 if not a 3 level building, can't wait to show it here!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow Your Roll!

OMG, talk about rumor overflow! You can't go anywhere these days without seeing rumors for 40K 7th edition. I'm not even going to touch base on any of these rumors, because they're just that, rumors. I know some sites have reputations for being accurate and they very well could be spot on, but I'm still holding out. I will not comment on or react to any of these rumors and I suggest everyone else do the same.

I realize this is GW we're talking about and some, if not most, of their design decisions will probably be terrible but just wait it out guys. Let the rule book come out, read it, think about it and then comment on it. At least take things at face value instead of going on random blogs and vent and rage endlessly.

On a brighter note, I found my Nook! I'm currently on book 3 of the Gaunt's Ghosts series (Necropolis) and I'm absolutely loving it! I have really grown to love reading about Imperial Guard more and more recently. I guess it has to do with the fact that they're actually human and not augmented super humans. I like how authors, especially Abnett, show how human the guardsmen really are and you can't help but root for these guys because they get put into the worst situations time and time again. There were times I would get turned off when I would read Space Marines books because they lack emotion, they were just a bit too cold for me. Regardless, I have a ton of Black Library books loaded up on my Nook so that should keep me occupied for the time being.

So relax, wait for this newest edition to come out and let it sink in before you decide to defend it or rage about it. Read a book in the meantime, relax!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finally got in another game of Deadzone!

So Dave (Skrivus) and I finally got in a game of Deadzone tonight. Great times were had by all!

So we kind of got lazy with assembling the terrain as you can see. It was late and we really wanted to play so we went with what you see in the picture. I've been slacking on working on my terrain. By working on I mean filing out all of the holes on the terrain. When the connectors snap in like they should, assembling the terrain is easy. The thing is this rarely happens. There are mold lines inside the holes on the terrain squares which most of the time prevents the connectors from snapping in as intended. Now that I've got another game in under my belt, I'm definitely motivated to get working on my terrain.

Staying on the terrain topic, it's pretty much mandatory to litter the board with buildings and terrain. Having a lack of terrain like we did tonight gives you plenty of opportunities to get wide open shots, which gives you 2 additional die on shooting rolls. So I'm pretty sure this will be the first and last time we have a board this empty in play.

Dave played with Rebels (using GW figs as counts as because he hasn't assembled them yet) and I brought my Marauders. Dave's mission was infiltrate meaning he had to get as many of his guys across the board and exit through my deployment zone. My mission was to hold Objective Z. Long story short neither of these happened, it basically turned into a blood bath, and quick. The highlight of the game has to be Dave throwing a frag grenade at a square that was occupied by 1 of my Ork Commandos and there happened to be 1 Commando each on 3 of the adjacent squares. He scored a direct hit on the square he targeted, killed that Commando, then killed the 1 Commando in an adjacent square by throwing him into a wall (from the blast of the grenade) which killed him. The 3rd Commando took a wound and was suppressed for the almost the rest of the game.

We both had a blast, non stop laughs and we both enjoyed on how tactical and cinematic the game is. Dave definitely wants to buy his own Deadzone box now so we can have more terrain and we might get a campaign going in the future.

Now I just need to get Dan in on a game and get him hooked, mwahaha!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The More Things Change....


The more they stay the same?

Recently there has either been announcements or rumors about new rules editions for various table top games. Warhammer Fantasy Battle is moving on to 9th Edition. 40K is rumored to be coming out with 7th Edition this year. Infinity is coming out with 3rd Edition (I didn't even know they were on second...). Firestorm Armada came out with 2nd Edition last year. So did Malifaux.

Do these new editions really change the game all that much? I can't speak about Infinity because I really don't much much about the game or FSA because I haven't played it in ages, but I can speak about the others, to some extent.

WFB 9th edition. The only new thing I've really heard is that they're moving the story line ahead, which is a great idea. I love how Privateer Press does this with Warmachine/Hordes. Every new rule book that they release moves the story line along. I'm still waiting to see what the hell is going to happen with Karchev! Other then that, what will really change?

40K and 7th Ed, or 6.5, or 6.1 or whatever the hell people are going to call it is odd. It's been 2 years since 6th Ed came out. GW did go a bit overboard with the additional rules and supplements and what not so I can see the need to try to reel all that back in with a new edition. I will be honestly shocked if they move ahead the story line, because it's been stagnant for years upon years.

Malifaux 2nd Ed was advertised as being a streamlining of the rules set. While it did this it also changed things around quite a bit in my opinion. The whole list building mechanic that was added to the game kind of took away from the charm Malifaux had in 1st edition. Everyone knew what each character did but now in 2nd you can build out your characters differently. Considering Malifaux is a character driven game it just took that charm away because now my Perdita could be totally different from your Perdita.

Now looking at WFB and 40K, my opinion is GW's new editions just rearrange thing around. No matter what they do you will still be rolling on the same table for ballistic still, weapon skill, strength against toughness etc.... The same system that's been used for almost 20 years, and I think it's really starting to show its age.

I believe that other systems out there are much better than the old GW roll on a table system. Warmachine/Hordes has you roll 2 dice (or more if you boost, weapon master etc...) and you add a score to it and compare it to a score an opponent has. Malifaux is very similar but you use cards instead of dice. Dreadball and Deadzone only has you roll against your own ability scores, so you don't even need to know your opponents ability scores to play the game.

The other issue with new editions is how they impact supplemental books, such as codices, army books, stuff like Planetstrike, etc... We all know GW is not on their game with keeping all of their armies up to date. Malifaux took months to get all of their masters and crews updated to 2nd edition. Companies need to keep this in mind when they decide to move on to a new rules edition.

So the point I'm trying to make is, do new rules editions fundamentally change the game or is it just lipstick on a pig? Is it change just for change sake? Is it a way just to make more money?

I find it to be a case by case basis and I know first hand how an edition change can just turn someone off from a game. GW edition changes fall under the lipstick on a pig and more money categories. Malifaux seemed to be change just for change sake.

This just makes we wonder how long will games like Warmachine/Hordes, Deadzone and Dreadball will go before a new edition. And when they do, just don't do it for the sake of change or for a quick buck.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

New Fantasy Wood Elves



It pains me to do so, but I like to give credit where it's due. The new Wood Elf Treemen looking amazing! They're pretty fucking expensive (well it is GW after all, duh) but I'll always give credit when a company puts out an excellent looking model, and these are. It is always nice to see an army that hasn't seen an updated in god knows how long get some attention. I know Dan (from TEW) is probably excited.

If anything, I might have to try to obtain one and maybe use it as a counts as for Circle in Hordes, lol.

Here's the link in case if you haven't seen them yet.

http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294967192&Nu=product.repositoryId&qty=12&sorting=phl&view=table

Monday, April 21, 2014

State of my 40K


Well for starters I would like to thank the International House of Paincakes for accepting me into their blog network, I really appreciate it guys!

So.. 40K. For old readers or listeners of mine you kind of already know my stance on 40K. You can skip to the next paragraph if you want. For new readers let me give you a brief history of me and 40K. I first heard of 40K way back in 3rd edition. I had friends of mine who would play in between days that we were not playing AD&D (Skills and Powers FTW!) and I would always watch over their shoulders. I would pick up a codex they weren't using at the time and read and I ended up getting hooked on the story line. I didn't actually start playing 40K until 4th edition when I picked up Black Templars as my first army. I always liked their color scheme since they first came out in the Armageddon Codex and seeing that they got their own codex made it a win win. I had such a blast with my Templars back in 4th and had many memorable moments with them on the table top. Then work got in the way so I had to take a year or two off from the game. When things settled down with work I got back into 40K and this was after 5th came out. I was in for quite a surprise when I learned that I could no longer consolidate into another unit after a successful assault. I felt that it pretty much broke my army because that was their main strength in 4th Ed, being able to assault someone on their turn. I then started an Eldar army because they were the other army I really go into when I first got into 40K. They did pretty well for an outdated codex but it sucked seeing all the new shinies the new codex armies got while my two armies were left in the dust. This on top of non stop price increases and a lack of new codexes (mainly mine) began to disenfranchise me from the game. Long story short I ranted about it almost non stop on Dice Like Thunder and The Eternal Warriors and by the time 6th edition came out I was pretty much done.

Now that you're up to speed on my history of 40K (or you just skipped ahead), let me tell you about the State of my 40K. For started I still haven't played a game since 6th edition came out. The rules just seem to be blah, too many of them. It's almost like they took a few pages out of 2nd edition, but the army sizes are still just as big is not bigger then they were in 5th. Allies are a joke in my opinion but it was nice to see GW come out with more codexes, until they got to the Space Marines. It was pretty insulting to a long time Black Templar player to see your army get their own book taken away from them. I would have even settled for one of those mini dexes they seem to throw around these days but I didn't even get that. The sheer amount of mini dexes and supplement GW has been releasing has, in my opinion, made things even more confusing because there's too much out there.

The game hasn't gotten any cheaper to get into, prices are still going up like they're going out of style. I have moved on to games like Dreadball, Deadzone and Warmachine/Hordes. I tend to prefer lower model count games. I recently tried to sell my Black Templars but I just couldn't do it. When I went to take inventory of what I had I realized how long I had owned these dudes and how much time, effort and money I put into them. I actually got really sentimental and told my wife "Honey, I just can't do it" lol. So they will remain in their foam trays for the time being.

Will I ever play 40K again? I don't think I can say yes or no. I recently had a conversation with Chaos Dave and the rest of the Screaming Heretics and Dave was telling us about the wargaming clubs in England. Just being responsible for a unit or two in a big team game sounds like a lot of fun. If something like this ever came up I could see bringing my Templars out and giving it a go. I've always had a blast in team games, they were always more fun then 1 on 1.

Do I still despise GW? Yea, I'm pretty sure I still do but I don't let it get to me as much as it has in the past. I still thing the company is in serious risk of either going under or being bought out if things don't change. I'll still make fun of them or call them out on their stupidity but I don't dwell on it.  I have other games and things to do now. The one thing GW does have going for them still is their fluff. As much as I've hated GW I've always been a huge fan of Black Library. I'll admit some books aren't my cup of tea and I'll refer to those books as bolter porn because they just glorify how amazing and awesome Space Marines are. Once you get passed that BL puts out some amazing story lines. I am currently going back and starting the Gaunts Ghosts series that I never finished. I only have the first omnibus in paperback. Now if I can only find my Nook that suddenly went missing......

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!!


Happy Easter Everyone!






And if you don't celebrate Easter, then have an awesome day anyways!

Friday, April 18, 2014

What I've been playing recently


I kind of brought whoever's reading this blog up to speed on current events, except I missed one important thing, what am I playing now? Kind of a bone headed thing for me to considering this is a gaming blog.

Let's start with Diablo first. I got back into Diablo 3 when patch 2.0.1 came out with the new Loot 2.0. I really enjoyed the changes they made because I always prefered to play ARPGs as self found. This was one thing that really irked me about Path of Exile. Path of Exile almost forces you to trade in order to get better gear because, well the drops are shit. Diablo 3 was the same way almost forcing you to go to the Auction House to get better gear. You didn't really have to, but just like Path of Exile, the drops were pure shit so you would have to farm FOREVER to get great gear. Loot 2.0 fixes this in my opinion because the majority of the gear that drops is catered for what class you're playing.

The Reaper of Souls expansion just made Diablo 3 even better. First of all they added the Crusader. Back in the Diablo 2 days I rocked a Paladin almost the entire time. I got him up to about 83, that's how much I loved the Paladin in D2. Now the Crusader isn't a direct clone of the Paladin but it's spiritually the same class. There are some things I miss dearly (Zeal being one of them, and no the rune doesn't make up for it) but overall it still satisfies the Diablo Paladin itch I've had for quite some time.

Act 5 is very nice visually. It definitely has some grit to it and it's much darker over all then the other 4 acts. Malathiel is a fucking bastard though. Every time I've had to kill him I had to lower the difficulty. I don't know if I just suck or he's that much of a bastard to kill, but he definitely makes Diablo look like a push over. Adventure mode is a great addition, it alleviates the pain of going through the same acts over and over and over again. Nephalim rifts are a great addition too. They a lot like maps in PoE but much easier to get.

I've already reffered to PoE a few times so let me touch on that as well. Path of Exile is a free to play ARPG that's in the similar vein as Diablo 2. The developers kind of go out of the way to make the game unforgiving which is ok, but the amount of risk doesn't reward you in my opinion. The drop rates are also very bad and the game forces you to trade with everyone for better gear. This reminded me of sitting in the tunnel in the Eastern Commons in Everquest spamming chat over and over again "WTS MoSS, 5k obo". Diablo 3 does a much better job of rewarding the player.

I've also been playing Hearthstone, but who hasn't? In case if you're living under a rock or just totally ignorant, Hearthstone is a digital card game. Think of it as Magic, but condensed and with a lot of the bullshit removed. The average game takes about 10 minutes to play and it's free to play as well. You can drop money on card packs or Arena runs but you can earn in game money to do the same as well. Please check it out if you haven't yet, it's that good and everyone should try it.

The game is pretty balanced, almost everything has a counter. My favorite decks are Shaman control, Warlock Hand deck, Warrior Control, and my Druid "I'm gonna have taunt on every single fucking card I throw down" deck. I'm not the best (18 in ranked currently) but I do pretty well. I've also gotten a lot better in the Arena so I'm finally getting a good stream of dust and cards I didn't have before.

I'm still on and off with WoW, currently off. There's really nothing to do until the expansion comes out. I wanted to try out Wildstar but from everyone I've talked to about it and what I've seen on Twitch is that it should be called Mildstar. I was in the Elder Scrolls Online beta and I really didn't like it. The funny thing is my brother hated it as well, but he pre ordered and he now loves the game. I'm going to wait a month or two and see if he still loves it. If so, I'll pick it up.

I'm on break from World of Tanks. Once again I burned myself out on that game. It's still a good game but after a while you just need a break. It's a shame though because I dropped down for 6 months of premium time.....

As for tabletop wise I haven't done too much lately. I've been playing a little bit of Warmachine here and there. I'm still rocking my Khador but I recently started up Circle Orboros as well. I've always wanted to start a Hordes faction and they're it. I split the Hordes starter box with Joe from the Heretics so I just have that along with a Razorwing Griffin, Warpborn Skinwalker Alpha, and 1 other blister, forgot who.

I played a game of Deadzone with Lathan about a month ago and that was AWESOME. Such a fun game and if you've played Dreadball it's easy to pick up. The game is incredibly cinematic, really makes you think tactically and over all is just a blast to play. I'll touch upon Deadzone a little more in the future after I get a few more games in under my belt. The one thing I do have to say is that the terrain can be a challenge to work with. It's pretty easy to break the connector sprues. I think I need to make the time to go through all the terrain tiles and filed out the holes so the connectors can go in and out easier.

The last time I played Dreadball was during the inaugural Insidious Premier League season. I made it to the semis with the Miskatonic Minutemen (Nameless). I started with the Beercelona Pubcrawlers (Forge Fathers) but I got sick of playing (or should I say loosing) with them so I switched teams after the second week. I was really glad I did switch because I finally felt like I was playing the full game of Dreadball, not just playing defense and smashing faces. It was really refreshed being able to score almost whenever I wanted. I had to sit out of the 2nd season because of working midnights, boo!

Well I hope this post wasn't too long. I've kind of liked getting back into blogging, it's been pretty fun. I'll try to do at least 2 posts a week, hopefully I don't run out of material, and hopefully I don't turn this into a spam fest. But don't worry, I won't start regurgitating everything that Faeit 212 posts (coughbolscough).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

So what's been going on with me?



So, what have I been up to? Well over the past two weeks I've went to two conventions, Adepticon and Vapebash 3.

Let's start with Adepticon. To be honest, I was bored and extremely tired. I'm currently working midnights so I had to flip my sleeping schedule and it knocked me flat on me feet.

I was bored because I don't play 40K and don't really care about it. I signed up for some Dreadball and Deadzone but I was so tired I ended up backing out of all 3 events.

I even barely bought anything. All I picked up was 2 limited edition Warmachine figs (the Bombshell Bombardier and the Druid Gone Wilder) that I wasn't able to pick up at Gencon when they came out, some Victoria Miniatures packs (Female Trooper and Penile Legionare) and some Mantic Corporation Troopers that were 50% off.  That was a very very small score compared to what I've purchased there in the past.

The food was too expensive at the hotel and honestly I'm sick and tired of eating at Harry Carry's, I've had enough of it for a lifetime already. I ended up leaving to go eat at other restaurants in the area.

The annual Screaming Heretic party was on Saturday and it was ok. I felt there were too many people there for me. There was seriously about 75 people crammed into the Governor's Suite.  So I ended up spending most of the time sitting on the couches in the hallway in order to avoid the crowd and we ended up having our own smaller party there, which was fun.

The only thing that really irked me was for the third year in a row an Adepticon volunteer/staffer won the charity raffle. All I'm saying is that if I was running an event I would not allow volunteers/staff to be eligible to win. I would say the vast majority of events follow that rule and there's no reason Adepticon can't do the same.

All in all I felt (for me at least) that it was a bit mediocre. Will I go next year? Honestly, I don't see myself going. I much rather prefer going to Gencon for gaming conventions. I feel that if you're not into 40K then Adepticon is not for you where on the other hand at Gencon there is something for everyone there. I know Adepticon has plenty of other events but 40K is by far the main focus. I am also at the point in my life that if I'm taking time off from work it's for an actual vacation, not attending a gaming convention that's 40 minutes away from my house.

Now moving on to the next convention, Vapebash 3. First of all a little preface, I used to smoke for 16 years but I was finally able to quit by using E-Cigarettes. There's a community I'm part of called VapeTV which is pretty much a Facebook for vapers (what we call ourselves). Vapebash is sponsored by VapeTV and a ton of E-Cig vendors. This convention was at the Westin in Rosemont, IL.

I honestly had a blast!. I am very into E-Cigs and all the new goodies that are coming out and Vapebash is the place to go if you're into that. I also got to meet so many amazing people that I already knew from VapeTV and plenty of others that I have not meet until the convention. Just meeting other people that have gone through the journey of quitting smoking and how they got there and did it is fascinating.

Overall it was a much different vibe then something along the lines of Adepticon. Something like Adepticon at it's very heart is competitive. You're there to play games and win and have fun. Sometimes both of those don't happen. The thing with Vapebash is that everyone there is united in the fact that they used to smoke and they now vape instead. Everyone is willing to help out with questions or recommendations. Vapebash felt more like a family reunion than anything.

So now I'm still recovering from two conventions in two weeks. What will the future have in store for me? I don't really know. If I can get the days off I will be attending VaperCon West in Reno, NV in July. Cmon, who doesn't want to go to Reno? I know I sure as hell do. For some reason I love going out west, mostly because I've seen more of Europe than I have of the United States and I need to change that. The Con is at the Peppermill which I've heard is a really nice place to stay so it should be tons of fun. Gencon? Still thinking about it. I already took the days off for it but I might just need a break for a year, I've already gone 3 years in a row and Gencon get's fucking EXPENSIVE!

I know I will blog a lot more often. My podcast (The Eternal Warriors) hasn't recorded since August 2013 and who knows when we will record again. John lives much further away and I'm working midnights which makes things even more difficult. So hopefully things will fall into place because TEW is sooo much fun :D

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Coming Back

Recent events have made me consider returning to blogging. I doubt anyone still sees this but I think I have some more things to say away from any shows I might be a part of.

Stay tuned!