Saturday, January 31, 2015

Des Soul Latte… Or how I learned to love abom(s)

How does Leveticus take his coffee?

Hello again from the desolate wasteland  of winter in central Illinois. 
Feeling inspired by finally launching this blog site, 2015 resolutions, Adepticon 2015, and a whole bunch of Wyrd Black Friday purchases, here's my contributions to ToMB 2.  Month 1 will be at the equivalent of $60 USD for initial purchase and future months will be at set at $22.50 USD so I don't have to worry about currency conversion each month.

Disclaimer: I'm going to have to adjust a little because I had to assemble and paint a bunch of models to table-top standard in order to attend a tournament last weekend and be ready for Adepticon.  I'll still be capturing the progress and writing articles to follow along with ToMB month to month.  I'll also be adding more models as we go and increasing the quality of painting on the existing ones. Hope you in enjoy the ride.

My Initial Purchase:
             $37.50 - Salvage and Logistics Crew Box
             $22.50 - Desolation Engine
          = $60.00 USD, $0 carryover for next month

(Note: Retail price can vary between $60 - $90 USD depending on where you purchase from.  You can also still get the older metal Desolation Engine for almost a third of the price if you prefer that sculpt or want to save the cash.  I went with the new one since I like the model and know that it will be available for those referencing this in the future.)
(Where does he get all of those wonderful toys)

For those readying this still looking to get into Malifaux here is the additional 'getting started' purchases that I recommend at this point based on this crew:

                                                            Malifaux 2E Rules Manual 

Arcane Fate Deck Fate Deck
(any fate deck will work but I like this one as its easy to read and looks cool)

      Wave1 Arsenal deck to get the common faction upgrades

    Other nice to have is the strategy and scheme deck but you can wait on that if you want.

What's in the box?!? Is that a head?

Here's what I determined for a starting crew build based on what I had access to which is all very in theme and synergizes with Leveticus as a crew box should:

            Outcasts 45ss - Scrap
             Leveticus (6ss Pool)
             +Desolate Soul 2ss
             +From Ash 2ss
             +Oath Keeper 1ss
             Hollow Waif X 2 0ss
             Abomination 4ss
             Abomination 4ss
             Desolation Engine 13ss
             +Oath Keeper 1ss
             Rusty Alyce 10ss
             +Desolate Soul 2ss
             +From the Aether 2ss

This crew could easily be played at lower or higher SS games by adding or removing upgrades/abominations.  Additionally it is could be very valid to run in theme with Alyce leading the crew with something like...

            Outcasts 20ss - Shoot Out
             Rusty Alyce (7ss Pool)
                          +Desolate Soul 2ss
                          +From the Aether 2ss
             Abomination 4ss
             Abomination 4ss
             Abomination 4ss

With that build you could get plenty of activations and pretty much guarantee the summoning of another abomination or two with then forming a Desolation Engine.  Pretty scary for only a 20ss game... and yes, I'm evil like that.

How does it play?

Main consideration with Levi is that he has to operate with what are commonly referred to as anchor models.  These are models with a base cost of 6ss or greater that are required to be within 6" of a Hollow Waif for Levi to rebirth from it.  That was the main consideration for including the desolation engine along with Alyce when hiring the crew rather than trying to summon him from other abominations later.

I will admit there are most likely better models to act as anchors but for round 1 and still in theme with the Outcast faction, I feel a Desolation Engine is a critical first purchase.  (He also happens to be a great model with tons of hobby potential!). With hard to wound, built-in trigger to heal for the amount they damage in melee, and (0) action to sacrifice a friendly model to heal, he's good for staying around while causing havoc.  His biggest weakness you have to be aware of is his def 3 which means he can go down easy if another heavy hitter or lots of shooters can target him so go with the best defense is full on offense here. 

Alyce is the other anchor and core component which you can get lots of use out of in the long run of playing Levi or other Outcast masters.  All around I think she's one of the better henchmen with decent wounds, bulletproof +1, high willpower, a good melee, great shooting, and abilities to summon abominations through upgrades.  The last unique ability she has is to grant reactivate to a construct which reduces its wounds to 1.  To me that can be just enough to get another activation for a abomination to complete a scheme or a desolation engine to finish off an opponents' crew and heal while doing it!

The rest of the crew is obviously filled out with abominations as needed and you can pretty much assume you will have opportunities to summon some during the course of a game.  I've assembled all of mine in the standard posses which are all creepy and awesome but the potential is near limitless for reposing, adding extra bits, doing cuts and swaps between the new plastic abominations.  I have the original 4 metal ones, but also 4 additional metal ones which I think at some point I'll convert with another set of plastic abominations.  Why? Cause what kind of soulless mad scientist wouldn't want an army of unique abominations! :)

Obviously one of the biggest draws to playing Leveticus are his Pariah upgrades and ability to hire either any non-gremlin construct (Iron) OR any undead model in the game (Bone).  The variety of crew options with him are almost endless with access to bar none some of the best models in the game.  For now though we'll pass on those as we start with his in faction/theme models and the synergies there.

What's to worry?

I'm trying to come into Leveticus with eyes wide open and acknowledge straight off the bat that his obvious strengthens of being able to spend wounds, kill stuff,  and comeback from death also leads to his biggest weakness.  The waifs are anything but resilient and survivable.  Def6 is okay but most of the better models in the game won't care about it and their Unmade Def trigger has such a small impact that it won't deter a good opponent.   They'll die to one one or two duels that didn't go your way.  Also if you aren't careful with your movement and model placement within 6" and Line of Sight to your anchors Levi won't be able to rebirth.  Savvy opponents will even try to block LoS with other models or obey/lure/push/place your anchors or waifs about.  With Levi, it really is going to be like a game of Chess with your opponent.

Where do we go from here?

I'm planning the next few articles in the series will be hobby updates and maybe a tactics discussion based on our regular weekly games.  I wonder how good Levi and crew can do against a Pigapult and shooty Gremlims... You can always follow the fun on Twitter @JSKrush.

* All characters, artwork, and other trademarks/copyrighted materials are property of their rightful owners.  Keep up the great work you creative devils.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Welcome to the party

2015 Goals

Yes, here is the obligatory 'what are my goals and resolutions for the new year post' so I can be shamed at the end of the year.  I also figured this was the best place to start as it highlights where my interests currently lie and what our local gaming group is focusing on.

Over the last five years, and especially last year with the explosion of Kickstarter, my miniature model collection has substantially grown to the point where something needs to be done.  I'm happy with the majority of what I have invested in since it's only been games, factions, and models which I find interesting both aesthetically and from a game play perspective.  Also it helps that our group is fairly well defined with which game systems we do play and don't have as much of the 'ooo-shiny' game-of-the-week syndrome that others may.

Here's the list just for context...

  • Malifaux: Outcasts, Ressers, and Gremlins (w/a smattering of Arcanists, Guild, & 10T)
  • Warmachine: Mercenaries w/ some Cygnar
  • Hordes: Legion w/ some Minions
  • Wild West Exodus: Warrior Nation & Outlaws
  • Dark Age: Skarrd & Core
  • Infinity: Nomads (Starter-only)
  • Zombicide: All Seasons so far
  • Shadows of Brimstone
  • Puppet Wars: Unstitched
  • Super Dungeon Explorer
  • Through the Breach RPG
  • Iron Kingdoms RPG

Still coming in through Kickstarters in 2015 (Hopefully)

  • Wrath of Kings: Goritsi
  • Guildball: Fisherman, Morticians, Masons, Union
  • Infamy: Random assortment but mainly Tesla, Holmes, & Toad gangs
  • Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King
  • Remaining Shadows of Brimstone waves
  • Remaining Zombicide Season 3 waves
  • Terrain from Wolsung

Again, to say the least, I've got a lot of models still in box or sprue, some half assembled just to get on the table top, and even more on the way.  All of which lead me to...

Goal 1: Project 365

Yep, assembly will be the highest priority this year besides playing and painting.  For the last three years I've been keeping track of my models and games using a Hobby Tracker spreadsheet (Original Credits go to Rushputin, from Warpstone Pile and Nix from The Dead Tau Project).  Each year has looked like this so far:

  • 2013 Assembled 45 models, Painted 31 models
  • 2014 Assembled 166 models, Painted 56 models
  • 2015 Assembled 36, Painted 17 models (Not to shabby 29 days in...)

With 2015 I want to get that mass of unassembed models under control, especially before investing in anything more.  Here are the guidelines:

  • A model counts only as one model regardless of size or complexity
  • A terrain piece counts as a model
  • No new model purchases until I hit a 100 model mark (i.e. 100, 200, 300)
  • Of those get 50% of them primed and based (~183 models)
  • Of those get 25% of them painted to table-top quality (~92 models)
  • Of those get 10% of them painted to my highest standard possible (~10 models)
That may be a lofty goal based on family, friends, work, etc but that's what the new year is for right?

Goal 2: 5x5 Board games

Play 5 board games at least 5 times.  These pretty much are the fun stuff that the group plays in between larger stretches of miniature games or for the casual Sunday night meet-ups.  This also incentivizes me to get any miniatures they came with assembled which would count towards goal 1 :)

  • Zombicide
  • Shadows of Brimstone
  • Super Dungeon Explorer
  • Puppet Wars: Unstitched
  • Risk: legacy

Goal 3: 5x5 Miniatures

Play 5 game systems which I've invested in at least 5 times while attempting to stick with a faction for the year rather than bouncing around. (In Priority Order)

  • Malifaux - Outcasts (Competitive) & Gremlins (Fun)
  • Guildball - Fishermen
  • Warmachine/Hordes - Legion
  • Infinity - Nomads
  • Wild West Exodus - Warrior Nation

Goal 4: 7x7 Masters

Play all 7 Outcast masters at least 7 times.  Since I'm a Henchmen and Outcasts are my main faction this one really shouldn't be a challenge, but I do want to continue to learn the in's and out's of each master and where they fit into all of the strategies and schemes.  I started last year with Viktoria, VonSchill, and Misaki mostly because they were what was completed with the first wave of M2E but had limited success.  I had an incredibly fun time building, painting, and playing Jack Daw for Gencon and the rest of the year.  Now that M2E: Crossroads is out and other models showing up in plastic, I feel (probably like most people) its time to get a little evil with Outcasts.  So I'll be playing more with Leveticus, Hamelin, Daw, and Tara (maybe) this year.  More to come on all of that.


Goal 5: Competitive Play and Conventions

Living in central Illinois puts our group in an interesting position when it comes to gaming.  Its always going to be a smaller community just because of the population density and distances between cities.  On the other hand we are only one to three hours away from multiple major metropolitan areas all of which have a variety of gaming communities and some substantial gaming conventions.  Definitely on the list this year are getting to:
  • Adepticon (Chicago Sub-burbs)
  • Diecon (Collinsville / St Louis)
  • Gencon (Indianapolis)
  • Flatcon (Bloomington)
I hope time and resources permit some other regional Malifaux tournaments with the Chicago-land, St. Louis, and Detroit Henchmen/groups.  All things considered, I'd really love to be able to attend the Nova Open this year and play in the US Malifaux Championship tournament but we'll have to see if that's doable.  Most important of all is to really have a good time and meet all the great people out there in the community.

Game-wise, let's say my goal is to come back with a greater win to loss ratio per event.

Goal 6: Local Community Growth

Our gaming group at Gryfalia's Aerie on Wednesday nights started around Warmachine/Hordes, has expanded to Malifaux, and continues to see interest with rotating around various games.  Like every group we've had people come and go (especially since we are in a college-town), people having kids, changes in jobs, etc.  A goal we all agreed to this year is growing our regular group by at least five new regular people.  So with that, all the usual community building / promoting / events apply:
  • Wednesday Night Regularly Scheduled gaming at the store
  • At least 1 demo / promotion day per month not on the regular game night
  • At least 1 type of league or special event per month
  • At least 1 tournament per quarter

Good Night and Good Luck

So with that I will bid you ado and hope you enjoyed a little insight into my hobby planning.  Comments and discussion are always welcomed.  More content is definitely on the way.  You can also check out the latest happenings on Twitter @JSKrush or on the various gaming forums under the same name.  Until next time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hello World

A few of us from Bloomington-Normal, IL are going to attempt to join in on the Tale of Malifaux Bloggers fun this year online and in our local store, Gryfalia's Aerie.

More posts coming soon regarding Leveticus, Nicodem, Mei Fang, and maybe a few others.  Hopefully we'll have some additional content on modeling/painting progress, tactica, and info about the other games/events we plan to get to this year.