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Scout Board Game Review

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The Split - Review

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My First Warhammer Tournament, An Autobiography

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13 Feb 2019 18:20 #292198 by GorillaGrody

charlest wrote: The middle ground can only be found in those indie games. Havoc: Tactical Miniature Warfare is my go to fantasy game, although I haven't played it in awhile. It was designed by Brent Spivey, the man behind the excellent football game Techno Bowl.


Just ordered. I’ve been saving up some of my energy to talk about indie games toward the end. This one has been on my radar for a while.

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13 Feb 2019 23:32 #292226 by dysjunct
This is like that restaurant critic who wrote a review of Guy Fieri’s joint. An amazing work of literary craftsmanship that makes me simultaneously want to laugh and puke. Warhammer might benefit from more donkey sauce.
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14 Feb 2019 04:29 #292233 by Matt Thrower
This is excellent and should be on the front page.

It's also made me very glad that I've decided not to dip any toes back into GW beyond Underworlds and Silver Tower. It was bad enough when I ran the tournament circuit in 6th edition, and it sounds a hundred times worse now.
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14 Feb 2019 10:33 #292266 by themothman421
Echoing what others have said, this is incredible writing and I too am now terrified at the thought of ever playing "real" Warhammer. Shadespire, the Quests, and Kill Team have all been digestible. AoS sounds like a real nightmare. I've wanted to try out the new skirmish rules, but if they are even in the ballpark of insanity that you've described here, no thanks, I'll stick with Frostgrave.
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14 Feb 2019 12:12 #292277 by Michael Barnes
You should use BattleScribe instead of writing out those notes...you can make a list and print out a report that includes al of their stat lines and special rules. Super handy.

The big games of AOS and 40k are awesome, but they are a mess. And there is the “done thing” that wins games and the “you’ll never make it hon” things. And there’s a whole community of rules abusers that Mathammer this shit out and win on the alpha strike, even if you have another hour or two to play through.

I really liked playing in stores for a little while over the past couple of years, but it kind of pushed me away because what those folks were doing wasn’t what I wanted out of the game. Like, I hate the whole “Imperial Soup” thing that people abuse the shit out of. People spamming units simply because they win games, not because of the stories and lore.

I think GW is playing a long game here with what they’ve been doing recently. I think they are forecasting that the big, 2000 point games are becoming less desirable among many players. I think they are the writing on the wall and that’s why low model count games like KT, Shadespire, Adeptus Titanicus, and presumably War Cry are cropping up. I think the old edition/coded or battletome/couple of new models format is running out of gas, which is why they are doing stuff like providing the Warscrolls online. I’d be willing to bet that Kill Team has done more for sales than 8th Edition. I mean, they are selling out of that stuff to the point of unavailability.

So where does that leave the “big” games”? There will always be players, and those games will always be attractive to some. And they are the way right now that GW is able to sell vehicles and large models that don’t fit into the smaller games. I would not be surprised to see them try something like Stormcloud Assault again, which was a smaller vehicle game...maybe a tank battle thing.

I dunno, I’ve pretty much reduced all of my armies down to skirmish sizes...except my 2500 point Skaven army. Which I have just in case...
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14 Feb 2019 12:38 #292282 by Da Bid Dabid
I can only echo the comments made by the others about the quality of this, eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

I will say however as I can see getting into the Warhammer-esque games going down this path, it definitely does not have to be like that at all. When I dipped my toes back into 40k a year or so ago, I never got stomped or faced crazy ultra refined lists. Everyone I played with was extremely pleasant and made the game easy to pick up and play, never once did I feel like it seems Gorilla has felt. Also starting at 2k points and not something like 500 is a mistake.

With that counterpoint made; the rules are way, way worse than the aforementioned indies and have exploitable loopholes that are dumb and a headache. So you are stuck with poor rules but plenty of opponents OR great rules and you have to build both armies or factions and try to convince a friend to join, they will play once or twice then stop and you need to move to the next game/system. It is the constant struggle and cycle of miniature games.
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14 Feb 2019 12:48 #292283 by GorillaGrody

Michael Barnes wrote: You should use BattleScribe instead of writing out those notes...you can make a list and print out a report that includes al of their stat lines and special rules. Super handy.


For whatever reason, Battlescribe on the iPad is one of the least intuitive apps I've ever used. I have made one or two lists on it, but I got to that point strictly by accident and trial and error. The result was a bare-bones list produced in txt format that I couldn't read. I keep hearing it's great, I just can't figure out for the life of me how to use it.

Michael Barnes wrote: I think GW is playing a long game here with what they’ve been doing recently. I think they are forecasting that the big, 2000 point games are becoming less desirable among many players. I think they are the writing on the wall and that’s why low model count games like KT, Shadespire, Adeptus Titanicus, and presumably War Cry are cropping up. I think the old edition/coded or battletome/couple of new models format is running out of gas, which is why they are doing stuff like providing the Warscrolls online. I’d be willing to bet that Kill Team has done more for sales than 8th Edition. I mean, they are selling out of that stuff to the point of unavailability.


I was excited to note that the game store I've been attending was going to have a Kill Team demonstration and tournament. Then, when Arena was announced ("a whole new way to play"), it got cancelled until a date TBA. That new date was never made. I can't seem to coax anyone here to play a pickup game with me. People seem to approve of the idea of Kill Team, but get confused by the application. We're already back to needing 3 or 4 books in front of us in order to play.

So much of the product line is stuff you need repackaged with other stuff you don't. This really should have been a single box, and it should have been made available in the same numbers that Shadespire was made available, at a similar price point. When it comes down to it I wish a) that it could have abstracted the combat, fixing a game philosophy that should have been fixed long ago, b) opened up the list-building to a few more units. and c) I don't know, just gave us what we needed to play and left us the fuck alone.

Shadespire/Nightvault/Underworlds seems to still have a few players here, but they play far away from the dungeon, up in the light of the board game space. It really isn't a game within the Warhammer line at all, and that's to its credit.

I dread the foot-sucking mudhole of bullshit that is going to be War Cry. Mainly because I want it to be something it's not going to be.

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14 Feb 2019 15:57 #292304 by jur
I never fancied playing in tournaments because it tended to attract the kind of people I don't want to play.

Playing (multiplayer) scenarios and campaigns adds so much more to a game. Almost all of my epic memories are from these kinds of games.

There's rulesets that do this (damn it, there's even GWs own Mighty EMpires), but there are tons of campaigns and scenarios out there on the internet and in magazines.

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14 Feb 2019 15:58 #292305 by jur
But what I actually mean to say is: get the fuck out while you still can!

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15 Feb 2019 04:06 - 15 Feb 2019 04:06 #292332 by Matt Thrower

Da Bid Dabid wrote: With that counterpoint made; the rules are way, way worse than the aforementioned indies and have exploitable loopholes that are dumb and a headache. So you are stuck with poor rules but plenty of opponents OR great rules and you have to build both armies or factions and try to convince a friend to join, they will play once or twice then stop and you need to move to the next game/system. It is the constant struggle and cycle of miniature games.


I feel it's worth mentioning that the whole reason I ended up on boardgames is that I got sick and tired of this cycle in WFB. I took me years to learn a truth: with GW it's always about the models first, the game a distant second. Shadespire is the first title I've played from them in literally decades that feels to buck that trend.

True story: my Damascus moment came which I was whining about some dumb, easily fixed rules loophole on a Warhammer forum and no lesser person than Gav Thorpe replied to say if I was that interested in game balance, I might be better off playing board games. So I did, and I was. Thanks, Gav.
Last edit: 15 Feb 2019 04:06 by Matt Thrower.
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15 Feb 2019 04:30 #292335 by mtagge

Matt Thrower wrote: True story: my Damascus moment came which I was whining about some dumb, easily fixed rules loophole on a Warhammer forum and no lesser person than Gav Thorpe replied to say if I was that interested in game balance, I might be better off playing board games. So I did, and I was. Thanks, Gav.

Not that their boardgames were all that balanced, but I cut my boardgame teeth on their stuff. Talisman, Fury of Dracula, Armageddon/Doom of the Eldar/Horus Heresy, Chaos Marauder. If it wasn't for MtG I'm not sure I would have transitioned fully over.

The thing was when I was a teen they had stores. They built a community. Now they are one game of many in other's game stores that serve CCG player most of the time.
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15 Feb 2019 08:33 #292343 by jur

mtagge wrote: The thing was when I was a teen they had stores. They built a community. Now they are one game of many in other's game stores that serve CCG player most of the time.


they still have stores. and a community. But there is more GW outside that community now

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15 Feb 2019 09:44 #292354 by GorillaGrody

Matt Thrower wrote: I took me years to learn a truth: with GW it's always about the models first, the game a distant second.


But what models! I've been slogging through a trade commission of the new Claustrophobia. The models are awful, no fun to paint, and not just in the way that typical bubblegum-quality miniatures are not fun to paint. Each miniature has a thousand shallow details that don't pick up a wash, details that must either be traced by hand in layering or ignored. At the same time, the rules are terrible, both unclear and poorly translated. Just look up "What Is Stack A?" or "setup confusion" under Claustrophobia 1643 to see what I mean.

By contrast, GW's terrible rules are at least competently written, the models beautiful. There is a confluence in board game culture right now between the "I'm beyond aesthetics" crowd and the "let's grab some cash on kickstarter" crowd that is making board games just gross.

There was no way I was going to start this thread without mountains of groaning and griping, but I think I'll have good things to say about GW and miniatures games in the near future. It depends on how Saturday goes, the day of the 8-hour tournament.
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15 Feb 2019 10:42 #292358 by Not Sure
I want store security-cam footage of you throwing dice and models.
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15 Feb 2019 11:15 #292365 by GorillaGrody

Not Sure wrote: I want store security-cam footage of you throwing dice and models.


A well-meaning citizen would probably call the cops.

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