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About CaptC

  • Birthday 04/18/1957

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    The Whiz Store, Westborough, MA

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  1. The Whiz Store in Westborough MA is open to hosting a painting day. We even have a Black Lightning rep. I happen to know the owner, he said it's OK. We have a largish painting area, OK lighting, and lots of paint and brushes. Plus holes in our schedule, see http://whiznet.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1180743479
  2. I agree with a lot of the sentiment in this comment. I don't find swarm games boring, but it would be nice if points spent on quality could match points spent on quantity so that more army builds would be effective. At the risk of derailing an interesting conversation, I'd like to try for a summary of what I've seen so far. First off, in the spirit of disclaiming, I have a vested interest in the effectiveness of swarm armies. The more models you need, the more I'll sell... So don't touch that +1 MAV modifier! Plus, I've always loved playing swarm armies. Speed + numbers kills. Hydran PFs, anyone? On the other hand, a game where cookie-cutter builds dominate has no legs. There have to be a variety of different ways to play, or people will lose interest. (The LOTR mini game springs to mind: "Oh, wow. There's a shock - Gandalf again. I've never seen HIM before. ") Now lets talk a bit about how a real-life elite force takes on a force with greatly superior numbers, like 2-1 or worse. Some of these have an analog in Warlord - some not so much: 1) Have superior technology or firepower. Let's look at having better technology in three sections: 1A) Better HTH technology. I contend this doesn't work, given the cost structures in place for cheap models versus highly capable models. Superior HTH technology comes down to high DV, high MAV, and multiple melee attacks. But enough swarmers in base to base will defeat any DV, and high MAV and more attacks only helps you take a few more of them with you. 1B) Superior archery. This can work, but often you have to go with the 'horde of archers' approach, which defeats the point of being an elite force to begin with... The problem here is volume of fire. You need to have enough shots to knock the enemy down to a manageable number before they get to you. You generally have two or three turns before the HTH begins in earnest, and the rate that archery drops models doesn't compensate for a serious numbers disadvantage. This tactic is more effective if you have room to run while whittling the enemy down, but 4'x4' boards don't offer much scope for giving ground. 1C) Superior magic. If you have fireballs and lightning bolts, you can theoretically knock down lots of his models quickly. In practice, however, I claim that this rarely works. Surprisingly, not because it's hard to kill what you target, but because the short range of most offensive magic means you only get to nuke the enemy once before he's on top of you. That one spell is rarely enough to equalize a severe numbers disadvantage. Magic causing movement restrictions keep the enemy off you for a turn, but requires you to have enough firepower to punish the enemy while he is slowed. 2) Target the enemy's command and control. This seems to be promising - most miniatures/historical simulations equate more numbers to less control, and hence more susceptible to morale and leadership issues. Warlord does, too - most swarm models have relatively low DIS. (Not surprising, as high DIS raises your point cost out of the swarm category.) But as it stands right now, the concensus seems to be that Warlord does not allow elite armies to take advantage of higher DIS, with the possible exception of Crusaders with Mercy. There simply is too little downside to having a low DIS! Being out of cohesion or missing a leader is rarely even annoying. Too few models have Horrid to make that effect worrisome, unlike Warhamster which has an abundance of Fear and Terror. Some good ideas have been discussed for adding in disadvantages for low DIS, but I think we have to be careful here. I don't think you want effects that target entire troops, or you risk the game losing the tactical flavor of a group of individuals. One idea I've toyed with is: "Models out of cohesion must make a DIS check to take any action other than a move which puts the model back into cohesion. If a model cannot move such that it can regain cohesion in one action, then it requires a DIS check to move at all." It keeps the effects on an individual basis, makes the loss of a leader's 18" cohesion range more damaging, and suitably punishes low DIS. I don't think this redresses all the command and control issues, but it's a mechanism I like that moves in the right direction. 3) Have superior maneuverability, so you can achieve local superiority of numbers despite being outnumbered overall. This one is very problematic even in real life, as it essentially requires you to go on the offensive against the swarm player. Frankly, I haven't seen it work in Warlord, because a) most swarms are of necessity rather fast themselves, so it's hard to get enough of a speed differential, and b) it's hard to get out of a fight that is going badly. If even one of your expensive uber-fast models fails to kill everything it is in contact with, that model will probably be slowed enough that the swarm player can reach it and kill it.
  3. That is part of the design. It occurred to me, that outside of Equipment Ho! scenarios, the big boys rarely make it to the board, and if they do, they spend the whole time beating up on outclassed enemy troopers. I want to see the big fellas going toe to toe in this one.
  4. Minions have more uses than just screening the "real" troops, although that is a fine tactic, too. Minions are great for lots of reasons. - Minions always go last. You never have to guess when the minions will go. When the minions turn comes up, the enemy is done for the turn. You can plan the rest of your moves knowing you get the last chance to react in any single turn. For example, say you knock down a model that has already been activated this turn. Don't bother cdg'ing. Let a minion do the cleanup cdg, while your more valuable model uses it's non-combat action more productively. - Minions with a gruesome familiar are FAST. The GF moves 12", the minions start 2" away from the GF, and they can double move and charge another 14". Those archers aren't out of range... - Minions are non-corporeal. Terrain doesn't slow them down, and they can go right through other models that have the undead SA. Those archers hiding on the other side of that rock outcropping aren't safe, either... I've even been known to use zombies to screen my minions! The zombies have a very good chance to tough out an arrow shot, while the minions can advance through the zombies as if they aren't there. - Minions have dis 9. You can shoot into their combat without fear, and they can break contact to go after another more tempting target at any point in time. - Minions in the Crypt Legion always have a 20% chance to stand back up. Many a time I've had a minion that just won't die sowing havoc in the ranks of enemy archers. - An altar of battle means your minions have MAV 2. Minions in the Crypt Legion with an Altar are MAV 2, 6" move, dark energy 1. And that costs you ZERO victory points if it's killed. - Minions rule as +1 MAV for support bonuses. Remember that 26" charge? With a centrally located GF, you can pick what portion of the enemy army you want to swarm. - Minions are great at pinning enemy units. Your opponent has a hard time breaking contact, since his discipline is usually at -2 because of fear of undeath. If he decides to stand and kill the minion rather than break contact, he's not swinging at anything that is more valuable - and maybe you roll a 10 on the defensive strike. I've slowed up any number of valuable models, most recently a lupine lord, by feeding the lord a minion a turn. I eventually surrounded that lord with six(!) minions. At RAV 2 +5 for support, they tore that poor lord to shreds. To be most effective with minions in combat, keep your expectations realistic. You have to treat them as ammunition. If they get a swing before they die, they've done their job.
  5. We've had problems with slow play at my store events, too. I don't think they are deliberate, but more like players dithering over which troop to activate, whether or not they have range for a spell, or the optimal placement of archer shots. I'm going to try a 'market based' approach in a tournament I'm hosting on Dec 9th. 1) Winning a game will require you to win by a certain victory point total, so ultra-low point games will end up as draws. I chose 10% of the army size as the limit. 2) You can gain a significant number of tourney points for completing rounds of play. My theory is that this will prevent 'slow time sandbagging' without requiring a tournament clock, as slow play will put you at a competitive disadvantage to your opponents that play quickly yet competently. And it will give the ditherers a reason to get off the schnide and make a decision. Regarding some of the early points raised about judging/refereeing: Being a judge is more than making sure the published rules are obeyed. The best judges insure that everyone has a quality time, that good sportsmanship prevails, and that everyone has a fair chance to compete. I have no problem penalizing players who are abusing their opponents, the game system, or the tournament format. "Play the game, don't game the tournament." Players abusing a scenario or tournament format, regardless of whether or not I anticipated the problem, are given a sportsmanship penalty. Since not all abuse is conscious or malicious, I verbally warn first. If I notice a continued problem, I assume malice. Sanctions escalate to game forfeits, disqualification from the tournament, and/or banning from the store. Further, I expect everyone who runs an event in my store to follow these guidelines - and I will back up their decisions to the hilt. Don't mess with my tourney judges, and if you do, pray I had a cookie recently so my blood sugar is up. You don't want me sanctioning you for bad sportsmanship when I'm feeling grouchy.
  6. "Winter Warlord-land" Tournament at The Whiz! December 9, $15 Entry Fee Army registration 9AM, Tourney Start 10AM Location: The Whiz Store, 276 Turnpike Rd, Westborough, MA 01581 Army composition: 1501 points. Warlords required to be at least 400 points. (Stop whining, Dwarf players, we evened it up!) Maximum 10 initiative cards, including tactician cards. Printed rosters required, no handwritten rosters. Handwritten corrections to Army Builder lists are acceptable. Any army list from core rulebook, Reaper web site, or army books allowed. If the Overlord book is out by then, it's legal! Unpainted armies allowed, reasonable proxies accepted but model and base size must be compatible. We love conversions, but misleading or empty base proxies are not allowed. That troll had better be big and scary, and on the right size base. Don't expect to use a halfling to proxy him! And vice versa, for that matter. Dark Heavens may be freely substituted, but models from other games are allowed only if based correctly AND the model was purchased at the Whiz. (Sales receipts required.) Tourney Format: Three rounds, Swiss pairing, 2 hour games on 4'x4' boards. Each round will have a different scenario. (See details below.) Wins are worth 15 tourney points, losses are worth 5 tourney points, draws are worth 9 tourney points, plus scenarios may award other tourney points for achieving specific goals. Each player gets one additional tourney point for each full turn completed, up to a maximum of five. Win, lose or draw, the more rounds you complete, the more tournament points you get! Fast play encouraged! Completely painted armies (which requires finished bases and three colors on each and every model) get one additional tourney point per round. Victory point calculation: When time is called, all models may take their normal tough checks before calculating victory points. VP are calculated by summing up damage to enemy models. Multi-track models count proportionally to actual damage taken. IE, a three track model with two wounds is worth 2/3 of the points for the model. All models include the cost of equipment in point calculation, spellcasters include the cost of their spells. Additional victory points may be awarded for achieving scenario goals. Expended spells or equipment do not count against you for victory points, only damage to models. A game is counted as a draw if the difference in victory points is less than or equal to 10% of the cost of the army. (IE, you must win by 151 victory points to get 15 tournament points.) Entry Fee: $15, $12.50 if you register and pay before 8PM of the Thursday before the tourney. Prizes: First place $100 gift certificate, $25 best painted army as determined by player vote. If we get 12 or more participants, 2nd place will also receive a $50 certificate. Depending upon attendance, random door prizes of Warlord or Dark Heaven minis and Reaper paints may also be awarded. (Store choice.) Food: The entry fee includes two slices of pizza between the first and second games. Additional snacks and sodas are available at the store. No other outside food allowed, please. Schedule: Armies must be registered and presented for acceptance by 9:30AM. Armies presented after 9:30AM may have reduced time for the first round, or may miss it altogether. First round, 10AM-12noon. Pizza and painting contest voting, 12noon-12:30. Second round, 12:30PM-2:30PM. Third round, 3PM-5PM. Open play, 5PM-8PM. Reapergames.com: We will get forum names for all participants, and will post the results on our website at www.whiznet.com. Winners are responsible for reporting battle results on ReaperGames.com. Scenario 1: Race for the Treasure You have discovered a treasure trove, and are determined to claim it! Unfortunately, others have also learned of the treasure, and you find yourself in a deadly race. Get there first to claim the first cut of the treasure! Better yet, drive off the rival claimant and enjoy the treasure at your leisure! Setup and Scoring: Place a marker on a standard sized base, centered upon the exact middle of the board. The marker may not be moved, but it may be looted. The first player to loot the marker gets 100 additional victory points, and gains control of the marker. Control of the marker goes to the last player to loot it. Control of the marker at the end of the game is worth 100 additional victory points, and 1 tournament point. If you kill the enemy warlord, gain 1 tournament point. If the enemy has no troop leaders or solos left, gain 1 tournament point. If your warlord fails to wound an enemy model, lose 1 tournament point Deployment: Standard tourney setup, 12" by 24" deployment zone. First player to deploy picks board side as they deploy. Deployment time counts against the two hours for play, move quickly! Scenario 2: Battlefield Domination You have orders to secure a strategic area from the enemy. Drive them from the field and claim victory! Deployment: First player picks a 12" by 24" deployment zone, but the deployment zone must include one of the board corners. Second player automatically takes the 12"x24" deployment zone farthest away from the first player's deployment zone. Deployment time counts against the two hours for play, move quickly! Scoring: Consider the board as four 2'x2' quadrants. A troop is considered a scoring troop if more than half of the original troop is alive and located within a single quadrant. Count models, not damage tracks, when determining if a troop is above half strength. If both players have a scoring troop within a quadrant, the quadrant is considered contested and neither side controls it. Note that it takes a troop of multiple models to control a quadrant, solos cannot control or contest quadrants. Victory points are awarded for killing enemy models, as normal. Additional VP are awarded for control of quadrants, as shown below. Contested quadrants score no additional victory points for either player. - Control of the quadrant that contains your deployment zone: 0 points - Control of the quadrant on the same side of the board as your deployment zone: 50 victory points - Control of the quadrant on the same side of the board as your opponent's deployment zone: 100 victory points - Control of the quadrant that contains your opponent's deployment zone: 200 victory points and 1 tournament point If you kill the enemy warlord, gain 1 tournament point. If the enemy has no scoring troops remaining, gain 1 tournament point. If your warlord fails to wound an enemy model, lose 1 tournament point Scenario 3: Arch-enemy Assassination You really hate the opposing warlord. Nobody can say that about your mother and live! Winning the battle is almost secondary for you. You will only be satisfied feeling the opposing warlord's cooling lifeblood with your own hands... Setup and Deployment: Standard board, standard 12"x24" deployment zones. First player to deploy picks board side with their first placement. Deployment time counts against the two hours for play, move quickly! Scoring: Score victory points as normal for killing enemy models. Killing the enemy warlord is worth an additional 100 victory points. Leave any deceased warlord model where it lays for the rest of the scenario. Gain an additional 400 victory points, and 1 tournament point, if your warlord survives the battle and any of the following conditions applies: - Your warlord denied the opposing warlord a Tough check, by performing coup-de-grace, the use of Bane or Mercy SAs, a firestorm spell, or any other means. Note that Dark Energy checks are NOT Tough checks! If your Crypt Legion warlord is coup’d, the opposing player gets 400 victory points and 1 tourney point, regardless of whether or not Moandain stands back up! - Your warlord performed a loot action upon the body of the opposing warlord. If your warlord survives the battle, score one additional tourney point for each wound your warlord caused to the enemy warlord. (Max four.) Note that wounds negated by Divine Favor do not gain additional tournament points. If your warlord failed to wound the enemy warlord, lose one tournament point.
  7. The idea of sending out a familiar to summon malevolent spirits is a unique and fun concept. Be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater - we want this idea to stay in the game, and we want it to be powerful. Using Aysa is not an automatic throwdown even now. Even against the "Tony build", nobody says: "Oh, he brought Aysa. I'll just resign." But it does have a big advantage in a timed format. (I have other concerns regarding timed formats in this game, but that's for another topic.) With that in mind, I thought I'd throw some more gasoline on the fire: 1) Personally, the biggest issue I have with Aysa (even though I use her) is that she doesn't take any skill to play. The GF is invulnerable and speedy, and can't be prevented from going anywhere it wants to deposit it's load of dangerous minions. Aysa sits at the back of the board and doesn't move. So, here's my thought: Require Aysa (or any mage) to be in cohesion with the GF in order to cast a spell through the GF. 2) In most games (PC, D&D, etc.) using a familiar to channel a spell requires that the caster sacrifice something. It doesn't hurt or slow the familiar, but it requires concentration by the caster. Usually, if the caster moves, the spell ends or fails. So, maybe casting a spell through the GF requires the caster to give up any non-combat actions as well. 3) Combining nerfs 1 and 2 means that in order to get the GF to a specific place may require Aysa to actually move!!! And may further mean she can't cast each and every turn - she can either move or cast through the GF. 4) Finally, a GF is a magical entity. It seems quite reasonable to me that it will be invulnerable to normal damage. But I wish there was a way to magically banish/dispel or otherwise see the thing off. Perhaps: "If a model with the Defensive Magic SA damages the Gruesome Familiar, it is banished. The GF model is not permanently destroyed, but returns to play within 2" of the Casting Model upon the Casting Model's next activation." That way you don't have to bring a special item or spell to deal with the thing, but you can use a mage's normal abilities to defend against the GF.
  8. I just got a win against Darthiir and his elves in similar manner. Moandain was rushed, killed and cdg'd over two turns by an elf captain. But I rolled a 10 to make my dark energy roll, and a necromantic surge later, Moandain was feeling fine. I had the advantage of hot dice more than once - I also dropped the elf eagle with three 10's out of six shots. But I'll take a win against Darthiir any way I can get it. If only I could figure a way to kill Reptus... :-)
  9. I just had my game against a friend. The hill giant RULES. it was quite injoyable. it ended by me pushing malek of a cliff and then kamakazing him. It was lots of fun. My giant killed many warriores and on a board with roads Thats 28 in. of move and 30 on the charge. I really liked him and I cant wait to telaport him right into Darthiers archers . Muhuhahaha.
  10. When I talk tactics with folks at the shop, I assume you are playing a competent opponent. Given that, I talk about three main areas. I talk about each section as successive refinements of your game plan. 1) List building. In most games (even 40K, believe it or not!), having the 'right list' won't win you a game. But having the wrong list will certainly kill you. In low point games, you need to pick a theme and hammer it home, 'cause you don't have enough points to do everything. In higher point games, you can choose a balanced force, or go for a theme. Here's the important part: Your list should be built with a generic battle plan or two in mind: "My melee force is there to protect my archery and magic." Or: "My magic is there to keep my melee forces up and fighting, not to win the game by itself." Or: "I'm going to overwhelm my opponent with sheer numbers". Etc. (In the 'all comers' versus 'customized' army list debate: I'm a firm believer that no one goes to war without knowing who their opponent is. It only makes sense to me that you would build an army to fight effectively against a known opponent. Building all-comer lists are useful primarily for tournaments, but I consider tourneys to be special cases without real-world analogs. Hence, I consider all-comer lists to be an artificial restriction. If you want to practice your all-comer army against me in a casual game, I have no objection - but don't expect me to adhere to the same artificial restrictions unless I'm also gearing up a list for a tourney.) 2) Deployment. How you put your forces on the field generally won't win you a game, but bad deployment can defeat you. You need to consider the generic battle plans you have from your list building exercise, and then pick or modify one to suit the objectives of the game and the terrain on the field. After you decide upon your initial, getting-specific plan for this battle, deploy to give your plan a chance. IE: "I'm a melee army, so I'm going to advance through the covering terrain on the left side of the field with my main force, while putting up a distraction on the right flank to keep his mages busy." Keep track of where your opponent is deploying, but remember your plan and don't respond to their deployment unnecessarily. 3) Execution of your battle plan. Picking a good battle plan, and executing it, is the only way to guarantee a win. Good execution can save a bad battle plan, bad execution will doom even a sure-fire strategy. Good execution also implies adjusting or abandoning your battle plan as circumstances require. "Well, I was going to try to sit back and make him come to me, but he brought an Aysa. He's building his strength, and the longer I wait for him, the more minions he's going to have. So I'm going to have to find a way to reach him before he gets too strong to handle."
  11. Start over. And I'd spend a little more time than a week. "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles." Is that so INCONCEIVABLE?
  12. Since I own the store most of my opponents buy their dice from, I've had to post a 'no refunds on dice that roll badly' sign. When playing Warlord, I use my Hematite D10s from Crystal Caste. Nice and heavy, they roll very nicely even on rough game boards.
  13. Models may only be fed upon once, so no. Rats. Here I was thinking I should actually build a vampire unit. But no. I'll stick with Crypt Legion for a while longer, I guess.
  14. Burrowing units are also quite effective. As burrowers are relatively rare, opponents often don't bring defense against them.
  15. Can you think of a tourney format that will allow low-model count, just getting started players to compete successfully with fully developed, Reapercon-quality companies? I can't either, which is why I am trying to build different types of tournaments. My goal would be to run something every month, with starter events interleaved with more advanced formats, plus occasional events aimed at the hobby side. The tourney formats you complained about, Ranz, aren't meant for you. They aren't meant for other experienced Warlord players with completely built out armies, either. So, it's not surprising that you don't like those types of tourneys (although you are more than welcome to play in them - they have their own challenges.) Those formats are meant for new players, who tend to buy starter boxes and big characters. They have warlords but not necessarily tons of other models. They want to play their big fellows, but they don't have enough models to run multiple troops. If I don't give them events where they can play successfully, then I lose a hook: "Buy the starter, that's enough to play in our intro events, and you can then figure out what you need next." If the alternative is, "The starter is a bare beginning at the large army you need before you can compete in any of our store events", some players will go to other stores, others will just never get started. The problem with the dwarves having only one warlord, who is overpriced, is not a problem for starter tourney formats. It's a problem with the Dwarf army list, and only Reaper can fix that. Since Warlord is the name of the game, IMHO every army should be able to compete at every points level while using a warlord model. BTW, I'm comfortable selling Dwarves as they are, but I am hoping this problem gets addressed in the new faction book. The doubles tourney was inspired watching ElementsWarden and his son play. I thought, hey, let's give father-and-son teams a format! No theft required, Wildbill, consider it a gift.
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