Saturday, 27 November 2010

Icy Grip Battle Summary Part 1:Banespam

Ok, as promised here it is, the first battle I played at the Glasgow Mini-Tournament, 35 pts Icy Grip.

The first thing I noticed was the massive difference between list building at 25 and at 35 points, its almost a different game.

My normal 25 point list when bulked up to 35 starts to become unweildy with 10 minute turns. So i ran with the following

Grand Scrutator Severius6
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)2
Daughters of the Flame (Leader and 5 Grunts)5
Exemplar Bastions (Leader and 4 Grunts)85
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 5 Grunts)85
Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer2
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord2
Vassal Mechanik1
Vassal of Menoth                                      also 1 point ^^

The list was created with the specific goal of taking and defending objectives, nothing more and nothing less, although the possibility of caster kill existed with the faster/more boosted units.

The first game saw me face off against local upstart Murray, where he reined in his usual spam with some variety in his list, alas I cannot recall the specifics, but do remember killing Tartarus and scroodles of banes.

We played a scenario that involves taking and holding two control zones, and my turtle units should have served me well.  I deployed the heavies on the flanks with boosted jacks front and centre, slowly trundling up through the swamps that made the board a nightmare.  By the time we had joined battle, it was the 2nd turn, an unusual occurence in warmachine.

The Knights Errant spectacularly failed to do anything useful, except die to the 1st bane that said boo.  The daughters faired better, clearing out some chaff and Tartarus before falling to the halberds of the banes (pro-tip, daughters and undead dont mix well).  The Bastions managed to slaughter a few banes and hold until dice down, but the star of the show was Sevvy...he managed to amble into just the right spot to have acid spat at him and nearly die, the line of sight was clear as day from Murrays side of the table, perhaps not so clear from mine.  Combine this with Curse and Vengance on the thralls,  and all my Weapon master, boosted and buffed attacks did little except piss off the remaining thralls.

My force was built for survivability, and went the distance, but at a  very high cost , and I was struggling to threaten his caster.  The main thing I learned is that Knights Errant are tricky to use, the bastions and daughters are absolute beasts, especially with Rhupert Corvolo buffing like a mad scotsman.

However, facing a spammy , layered list of thralls, theres little anyone can do try and threaten a caster kill, and objectives and control zones become so congested that clearing them out becomes impractical.

A feora force could feat and hope that more died to fire or spray templates, a Kreoss force could spam redeemers, vanquisher and flameguard cleansers to mow down the fornt lines, but the sheer density of metal you need to plough through is disheartening.

This is why next time I face a spammy list,  its going to have 2x Revenger, This baby has reach, pushback and arc node, combined with a caster like severius and Ashes to Ashes, you have a charge, slice and dice, followed by 1+d6 POW10 hits on 1+D6 models, and you have a better chance of clearing out an objective.  Duaghters or knights exemplar to run in and sweep up/contest and *tick* points.  Many WM scenarios have a 2VP victory condition so it's less about holding forever and more about holding long enough.

This is why small, elite armies have a chance against spamlists in WM :)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

WAAC, The addiction that dare not speak its name!

Hi, my name is Grumhelden, and I am addicted to competitive gaming.

I was once like you are now, playing for fun, loving the chummy cameraderie of playing with my chums, all enid blyton and wooly jumpers.

Then it happened.

It started in Dundee, at a well run, and very friendly tournament.  When I got home I felt OK at first.  Then I felt a kind of hunger growing inside me.  My local gaming club seemed to be filling that hunger at first.  Then the hunger got deeper.  Forums and blogs helped, but not enough...reading the fluff and the rules over and over just made it worse...I had to admit to myself that I was changing, I was becoming both more and less human at the same time.  Some deep, ancient, dark hunger was taking over my every waking moment.

I was becoming a hard gamer.

There have been many names for us throughout history, WAAC, Cheese, Beards, Arseholes, but, as all things change, the hard gamer has too.  He has realised that WAAC does not mean anti-fluff, that playing the rules does not mean you cant play the game, and that despite has original protestations, WAAC can be FUN!  And fun does not mean that you use anti-WAAC sentiment to excuse your own inability to win, compete, or try.

Please note "Win, compete, or try", not "Win, Win, Win", only an idiot believes they can win 100% of the time.
A true champion is not born, but made, "undefeated" is only true for an arbitrary time frame.  Every champion has been beaten, and those that use defeat as a learning opportunity become the ones you hear about.  The ones who use defeat as a way to whine...well...a hero dies once, a coward dies a thousand deaths.

Yesterday there was a small tournament here in Glasgow, low turnout, but hadn't met or played with some of the guys before.  4 matches each.  Here's mine, in all cases I played a Severuis/Knights list, I will go into more detail about each match, and the lists used, and it's lessons over the next few days.

Match 1:

Vs Cryx banespam.


Target rich environement, many layers, objective traffic jams

Match 2

Vs Everblight


Massive damage soaking, Fast objective contention

Match 3

Vs Cygnar Gun List


Massed Guns, Massive Concentration of Force, Missed Opportunity

Match 4

Vs Mercenaries


Target Rich Environment, many layers, objective traffic jams, dejected players

I will post up each day a summary of the action, so as to not bore you to death here.

But the main lesson I learned this time:

Competitive Play Is Fucking Awesome!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Internet Opinion is Truth – You got the movie you deserved? And best comment on BoLS ever.

and similar in all the usual haunts...

Reading all the 1st impressions around the web, you would be forgiven for thinking that a blockbuster of Harry Potter proportions was winging it’s way to the silver screen.
However, read these impressions with the eye of a cynic , and the reviews are pretty much summed up as:
And I quote:

“There are some rough spots, BUT, whatever.”

“Split it with your buds if you have to, but BUY the movie... It's totally something you're going to watch again and again with your friends, your gaming group, and your girlfriend...ok may not that last one.”

Never in the history of fandom, has so much been said by so few. 

Translation of the reviews I have read so far:


Well, old bean, fuck this shitty film and the straight to dvd, substandard cash cow it rode in on.

You deserved better even if you are so cuckolded by GW that you don’t know it.

Even if the film is good, I will not be able to enjoy it because the taste of fanboi will be in my mouth.
I’m a GW hater? Want to test my GW credentials…every edition of Warhammer, 40k and all the books currently hogging my shelves say fuck you.  Space Crusade/Advanced Space Crusade kick you in the nuts, And the Heroquests use a stack of Warhammer Quest boxes to throw Mordhiem parts at you.

 I love GW.  That doesnt mean that I agree with current policy or practice.

I have played GW games for 20 years.

The 1st big dream that was destroyed was Warhammer Online:Age of Reckoning.

It was like meeting your hero and finding out he was a twat when I first played that game.
We, you, I, deserved better.  The shareholders owed it to us but Mark Jacobs wanted to make DaoC 2, and pissed on our dream.

The 2nd big dream that was destroyed was Ultramarines:The CashCow.
We, you , I, deserved better.  Gods damn it all to the 9 hells, WE deserved better!
Fuck you GW.  Fuck you and stop shitting on our dreams.


The following appeared in the comments on BoLS:
“Critical thinking is really not for the jaded. You do it by taking off the blinkers, opening your mind wide and looking all around you. It needs a certain amount of imagination, a sense of the vast potential the world has to offer, a belief in what could exist. The jaded don't have too much of that.
It is after all possible to find wonder in places other than expensive, straight-to-DVD animations hyped by fanboys who'll buy anything with the right logo.”
Well, fuck me gently with a well oiled bolter, there is hope!
Critical Consumers of the Crack unite!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

Hardcore 2011 rounds announced.

Hardcore WM is coming.,

Now there's a manly challenge.  Some serious competition and serious gaming across those heats.  Doubt I'll be of that standard by then, but why not try?  :)

I painted up sevvies cloak tonight, and I am extremely happy with the results, tried to take a few photo's but camera phone=shite.  It was nice to be reminded (by N++) that all good painting takes is actual effort and time.

That blogpost reminded me that a million youtube videos, books and the like is no substitute for actual experience.  Something I am also covering from another angle regarding list building.  Hoping to have that readable soon.

New Chance Of Gaming Posted

If you havent already, check out

Very decent listen.  Very decent indeed.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Forum Gramma For Kool Kids...Rules for Warseer and its filthy like.


Lose is spelleded as loose

Paid is spelted wright as Payed, and always add already, even though the word is already past tense already.


MY scene is the only scene, commie!

The stuff I own is indicative of what everyone else owns/can afford/wants.  Especially with iPhones, iPads and digital stuff.

Threads like this : should indicate our attitude in general to humour or parody, and the crushing, grinding weight of always being right even when you are wrong.

This is the most important thing to remember when you post on warseer or anywhere similar:

Even if you are so incorrect that you are not even wrong, you are right because you are a special little snowflake.

An experiment in crowdsourced gaming...looking @ you internet!

1st rant tonight, serious hat is on, so the clean vocabulary bus is in the station.  I know one lady just stopped reading, but I am not all hate all the time, I need to save it up for a day or two :)

Now, I am in the enviable position of not currently owning an army for 40K.
In the past I had decent success with Marines (1st, 2nd, 3rd edition), Imperial Guard(4th) and Witch Hunters (4th).
Now here's my evil,little plan.  I firmly believe that we can crowdsource a win, and have about 5 months before the next local 40K event.  At this point, I am a tabula rasa, and look to you, dear readers, to throw comments at me.  Link this around Paincakes and lets build an army!

The conditions:

It can be as bent and as WAAC as we can think of.  Because we aim to swim with the sharks.

Cost is not an issue, but has to use standard parts available off-the shelf at the flgs.

Lets get some traction behind this, I plan on documenting the entire thing from purchase of rulebooks through to tweeting from the tournament.  And it will all be for us, the rejects, the punks and the outsiders, the good people of Paincakes, and so we can have a swift whisky at the expense of the forumhammer , po-faced, rod-up-the arse types.  Ah fuck, I swore, shit.

So follow me on twitter, tweet @ me with suggestions, leave comments, and lets build an army together.

Monday, 8 November 2010

slutman, slitman and beardflakes

The recent Highlander Games tournament has given me a lot to think about, especially in terms of the metagame and the variety of players we have in our hobby. Here in Glasgow we have a competitive WM set, living happily alongside gamers that a mate ably described as "game tourists because they suck at games".  Dundee seemed to be entirely normal , rounded gamers.  There do exist the others though.  The slitmen, the slutmen, and the beardflake.

Normal Gamers(us):
Here we have a gamer like myself (and you, probably): normal, well adjusted ( fuck I am), and interested in gaming as a whole, whilst actually playing only 2 or 3 games. We tend to invest more heavily in one game than others, although we may dabble occasionally in the murky waters of different scales, or periods.  Or one off games like Incursion(which is awesome).  We are the average, everyday, silent majority.
We would shop in GW, but not consider it a social venue.  We are open minded, and open to new things.

The Historical Single Period gamer, his favorite game is something like Fast-Play Rules For Conflicts in The Mugubugu Wars of 1610...Anyway...  what more could be said for this individual?  What further torment can we inflict?  None.  He has made his bed, let him lay in it.

In fact, no, lets digress a bit here.  dear historical gamers.  Learn to paint neatly, not everyone can be a picasso, but everyone can paint inside the lines, k?

The painting on some historical miniatures is Ebay Pro Paint standard.  Its like they taped a brush to an epileptic and turned on a strobe light.  Sick fucks!  Epilepsy is not to be laughed at! And its most definitely not there for your painting convenience!  Fucking sickos. "this is my goobooowugu force from the hamster wars of 1718, fought against the numerically inferior but technologically superior prussio-hungarians"  Seriously? That's real guys that died, not made up cryptofascists or steam driven magical robots.  At least paint them neatly

My Fluff/Band is better than your Fluff/Band, and so's my Fluff/Band.
And while we are on the subject, I care less about your made up chapter where the fluff gets raped like a slave at a ludus, than I care about in your band that blends Metallica and Sum 41 and Nirvana to create a new sound. It doesn't, you suck. And you always will.  Fuck off, cut your hair, and sell your guitar, then come back so I can tell you to fuck off again.  Then sell your marines (cos its always fucking marines).  Then fuck off, again...again.

I have literally heard the following:
 "My chapter are the secret lords of terra, they rule in the emperors stead and move behind the scenes , the emperor is their puppet and they wear camoflage and have access to all the best weapons, so I get land raiders for every 5 man squad".

Flying fist of fuck off and fuck yourself!  It is an absolute insult to spew this shite at another human.  There should be a law against it!

We also have the single system gamer, one of my personal favourites because they think they can do better than anyone else at designing games; based on their experience of 1 game ; that game is invariably 40K.

Many is the time I have read a fuckwitted thread and realised they are bending 40K into a game that has already existed for years, but they simply do not have the exposure or will to realise that it does.  I'm thinking of a recent thread about 40K needing rewritten badly, the guy basically described FWC/Stargrunt/Hammers Slammers, but was ignorant of their existence.  If only he knew that his needs had been met, but his ears were closed, as was his mind.  I was sad :(

Single System Gamers are bad for the hobby, as they suffer from interminable myopia and mistake their views for reality all too often.  You know one, you really do...

He starts sentences with "I think you'll find..." and spews banal trivia at your face until you want to punch yourself for failing so hard in life that you are of an equal social station to this fuckwit.  Yes, it's your fault, and your's alone that you are stood here talking to a bad gamer who knows everything about everything and compares absolutely every fucking game to 40k.

His frame of reference is so limited its a fucking slit, and so is he.  He is a Fucking slitman.

He happily interrupts conversation at the FLGS with some shitty insight into why X is better than Y, and invariably its a fallacy of the excluded middle anyway.  But he is so fucking right in absolutely everything all the fucking time.

At the other extreme from slitman is slutman.  The gaming slut.  He can usually paint really quickly and extremely well.  He can learn the rules for any system really quickly, and play a full game in an evening.  By next week he has painted 10,000 cuntgobblers in 1mm and is playtesting an exciting new set of rules for two guys on a forum in Bremen.  10,000 well painted cuntgobblers, like, awe-inspiringly well painted.  They are then consigned to a drawer while he paints up 6 54mm Gimps for use in a novelty set of rules that , *chortle chortle* lets you play "The Story Of O" Bondage using an IGOUGO system with interrupt activations.
So. Fucking. Novelty.

My mate rationalised these guys as " too afraid to get beat so they constantly try and be first at the new system, hoping this is the one that will fix all their problems and make them winners".  They invariably win 1 game, then the rest of us catch up, and they move onto something even more obscure and self-fellating.

So what(actual Gaming content)?

How to be a well rounded gamer:

Now, my non-scientific observations have noticed something.  The winners, the guys who repeatedly show up tops in tournaments or are considered "good" players, are the guys who fall into the first category.  Normal, well-rounded, open-minded gamers.  The slitmen usually end up losing due to simple things like deployment and poor list building, and the slutmen are simply scared of tournaments, people, and open spaces.

If you want to be a winner, if you want to be a better gamer, fewer systems more often is far better that 1 system all the time or all the systems none of the time.  No matter how much you theorycraft or study the army lists, there is no subtitute for actually playing games against other people.  Here's the secret about other people, they aren't you!

Get out there and play!  It may look good on paper to have X list , but have you used it in actual, on the table play?  Quite often , as happened with my Orcs and Goblins, the reality of deployment and first turn is very different from the theory.  Quite often, the local meta will flavour your list building, until you come across a different meta, this happened in Dundee, units we had never faced before and had never had to counter were suddenly there, across the table, silently condemning us for our lack of preparation.

By all means, do the deployment training using battle chronicler and vassal,  have your spreadsheets of probabilities and ratios, but temper this with the actual human element of contact with another mind.

There is a very famous quote about plans and enemies, and you should know it if your reading this.  Take it to heart, because whilst prep is only 9/10 of the battle, the other 1/10 is the one that counts the most.

Now get out there and win!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

GW Missed the U-Boat

Yep, For UK readers, finally a cost effective and low-barrier-to-entry way to sub to your favourite mag!

Jolly Good Show, What!

Oh and white dwarf tried too, but failed, as they want you to print out a pdf and then mail it in! How charmingly retro! How cheap of them!  Heres the link :

So picture it:

I'm in work , I piddle about on the GW site, reminding myself I need to pick up WD next week.  I plan my journey carefully, can't go into GW on Union Street, because people might see me, wont have time to make it to static, and wouldn't want the girl in WH Smith to see me buy it.  If only there was a cost effective way to get WD, that meant it was delivered and didn't require my whole hobby allocation upfront. Something that's been around for years and is trustworthy, something that's easy and quick to set up.

I know , Direct Debit! Used it for years when I used to sub to other mags, usually managed those subs and DD's online, and that was in 2003!  Surely GW must offer this?  Eagerly I note that they dont. Fuck.

Fast forward a month and they announce in great big badly kerned letters that they will now offer DD Subs! And something about bondage marines...

So I run, virtual cash in metaphorical hand, eagerly I open the page, breathlessly waiting for the Javascript to load , and they offer me a PDF?! To print? Like on paper? Is this the Twentieth Century?  Mayhap I could send a telegram?

You have card processing facilites , but didnt want to pony up for the online DD stuff, thats what I'm seeing.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Steamworks: The Tartan Brawl 2011

The Steamworks: The Tartan Brawl 2011: "Behold, Scotland's first two day event for Warmachine and Hordes! The first Tartan Brawl will be held on March 12th-13th 2011. The event wil..."

Woop! If your in the UK, this will be a great event to attend. For one, you'll be in the posh bit of Glasgow, so can get hammered in the evening with the brightest and best that we have offer, with very little fear of being stabbed. For two: The venue is massive, located in a busy, student/boho area and is dead easy to get to.

For Three: Its warmachine! In Glasgow! Fuck Yeah!


I keep getting ideas for posts, sketching them out , and leaving them unpublished.  To alleviate this I have decided to set myself a posting schedule, and a set goal.  So this post is more for me than anything.

Weekends:     Rants and Random
Mondays:       Tactics And Lists
Wednesdays:  Hobby and General

This way I can have my cake and eat it, I have a decent wee store of hobby articles prepared, and I will never be short of things that piss me off.

See you later for my biggest issue with the hobby today: The Miniatures Page And BoLS , in which I will compare two websites to rock bands and mean it.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Dark eldar have appeared ohnoes!

As seen below...apparently the dark eldar codec actually exists and doesn't exclusively occupy the dark webway of forumhammer. Who knew?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Rick Preistley Leaves GW!

I would love to know more, but there it is..Priestley has left GW!  He was one of the original guys, one of the founding fathers.  It is a sad day.
This was 2 years before I was born!

The main lol, is the young folk all "GW sacked him OMG shenanigans"...Fuck off and die you unyeared twats.  He founded GW, he founded the hobby as it exists today.  It is juvenile and smacks of inexperience to have any disrespect for the guy.

This was before I could masturbate
It reminds me of years ago, at a mates house, his wee brother had a lagwagon t-shirt on, with the Fat Wreck Chords logo on the back, NOFX were on some festival, and the mother comes in, asks "Who is that on the TV?", the wee brother replies, "some no name lagwagon wanna-bes"...I subtly pointed out that they were playing before I was even born, and that they in fact, were the band who owned Fat Wreck Chords, and that maybe he should realise that because HE was unaware, does not mean that the entire world was unaware.  I then pontificted  that immaturity can do that , that your world is so tiny when you are young, and that he was, after all 17 compared to my mighty 21(I did say years ago).

I then remembered that 17 means adult, and I wouldn't get done for assaulting a child, so I twatted him square in the nose, and told him to fuck off.  Sadly, the internet, and my own advanced years mean that is not a viable, sensible or desirable way to deal with the arrogant ignorance of youth.

Something I see quite often is the fallacy of impossibility through incomprehension, the same logical fallacy that leads to creationists, fundies and the taliban (oh yes, I went there, I linked WARGAMES to FUNDAMENTALISM! That's how fucking asinine blogs are!), basically the fallacy is this:

I cant understand this therefore no one else can either.
I have no experience of this therefore no one else has either

People do this every fucking day of their short miserable lives and they do not stop to think about what they are actually doing.  The internet makes it possible to see this in action in a way that can make it seem that absolutely everyone else is a fucking retarded fuck.  But take hope, Paincakes will show that its only 99% of us are retarded fucks, with no respect for anything that we have not directly experienced.

It is with great sadness, and some measure of abject terror, that I realise that I am old enough to have waited what seems like an eternity for White Dwarf to hit the shelves, to run down to the town centre (Port Glagsow...), buy White Dwarf (well, steal, I was poor as fuck), and run home to read every line of text on every page, ad infinitum ad nauseum, becoming totally and utterly absorbed in the world it presented.

I know, thats an "uphill both ways in the snow" story, but with instant access to the collective ignorance of the masses, no child will ever do that again, which is sad and awesome all at once.  The permeation of gaming culture into mainstream  culture, the blending of music into one formless mass with no underground cliques, where "rock" clubs play pop songs, and the idea of being an individual is pumped into every fucking hole your flesh has made it hard to be young, and created the second generation gap in wargaming...

We have the "featherstone boys" the founding fathers, are starting to pass into legend, as they sadly die and age.  The "Preistley Boys" (30-45 ish), who grew up just before the internet, before mobile phones, and yet are young enough to grok and utilize both.  The young uns, for whom the fluff will never be as meaningful, because so many avenues of escape exist.  They have grown up with networked communications and entertainment, , literal speed of thought communications, and absolutely no checks and balances in place for their collective stupidity.  5000 14 year old social rejects in the world as it is now, are really, really , really fucking rejected.  The thought that they may be wrong in the one thing that they tale refuge in must be really, really hard to deal with..    Well, tough shit, truth is truth kids. And yes, we all hate you too.

Monday, 1 November 2010

33 and a 3rd Year old Tournament Virgin. It wasn't as painful as I thought...

Ok, Its done, My skin remains unflayed, my embarrassment gene unfiddled and my chest is all swellful with pride. I took part in my first tournament and didnt fail, didnt suck, didnt make a pass at a card player and generally succeeded in every way possible. Apart from winning...but I came closer than I would have dreamed possible.

The big thing to take away from the day was that there are as many playstyles as there are people, and hobby via internet often makes you forget this.  I met a great bunch of people, they hosted a great day and no one went away feeling robbed.  This is the opposite of what you would expect if you had only read about these things via the filters of teenage machismo.

Don't get me wrong, we were WAAC and cut-throat like fuck, but had fun doing it.  I learned more in one morning of playing than I have in a year, and the variety of lists , the variety and quality of paint jobs and the fantastic failure of this blogger to charge his phone and take pictures really made my October.  Now, bear in mind I had been mentally punching my nose over this for weeks, procrastinating like an unsure agnostic at a 3 for 2 offer in Gamestation,

 Instead of my dreamed of, honed to perfection lists, painted to a reasonable standard with at least neat and presentable paint jobs, I fielded undercoated, patchy and scrappy white with ugly gold smeared across them like butter on a hot knife.  Fugly!

Surprisingly though...they were not the worst paint job there, and there was a shocking amount of bare metal on the table.  Now here's where the blogeritis kicks in...the top 3 slots were all fully painted, and well painted, armies, with a cohesive fluff and rules theme, and they consistently performed well.  The wooden spoon winner( Matt) was also a fantastically well painted army, fielded by a fantastically nice guy.

So, from a science perspective we can state that unpainted, or badly painted armies are the stuff that no one remembers.

Everyone will remember Jim's Orobororororos, Michael's sea of bane thralls (seriously, horrible, 24 bane thralls...ugh) and Adams absolutely lovely everblight, and they were the top three, they will also remember Matt's non-standard Cygnar, who stood resplendent in Grey and White , and helped him gain last place.  This is helped by the fact that Jim is current UK champion, and Michael was hung over and still in half-drag from the night before, everyone expected Jim to romp home, and the real battle to be who would take second.

I'll post up some brief battle reports and lessons learned, especially for my fellow menites in the next few days.