More Content, Less Filling!

So here we are, doing more and more nonsense content. Or something like that. God only knows. I am trying to get a Demo of Malifaux at the LGS near my home, and so far no one has bitten yet. course, its only been a day or two, but hey, that forum over there is pretty active.

I notice alot of people are finding my blog via searches for things like Mulg, Circle, ect. Warmachine stuff. I am tempted to start writing about it. I may not play it anymore but I can at least talk about the new models and things. I dunno. Its something I can consider. Although since I am not an “expert” or player anymore I doubt I should. What do you all think?

In other news: I am playing the Penny Arcade adventure games and Warhammer Online now. The Penny Arcade games are full of such humor that I can’t help but play them. Its been a long time since I played last, its nice to know I am still darn good at the combat. And in Warhammer, I am doing their Endless Trial thingy. Basically I can play for free but I am limited to Tier 1 (levels 1-11) and only Chaos and Empire pairing. I dunno if I can make non Chaos or non Empire characters though. I think I may sub for a month though to see how I feel about the game.

In regards to Malifaux Stuff:

I have read through most of the rules, and I really like the look of it. Even at an assumed 40 SoulStone (or Point Game) you are looking at maybe 11 models on the table. Thats not alot. I mean, my Trollblood Army at 50 points was something like 26+ models.

I am interested mostly in the Lilith and Pandora starter boxes. Each looks like they play VERY differently, and the Neverborn in general just seem awesome. I mean, take this guy for instance!

HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT? Giant Nightmare Teddy Bear!

2 Games, 1 Choice: Pulp City vs Malifaux

Thinking and thinking.  Thats what I have been doing lately.  Beyond playing Mass Effect 2 for the 3rd time running and school work, I have been thinking about miniature gaming.  Since quitting Warmachine, I have had the urge to play those games, as I have detailed greatly in my “Love/Hate” post.  My birthday was Thursday, and for it my wife let me grab a copy of the Malifaux Rulebook, which was really awesome to be honest.  Then I looked up Pulp City, and now I have a quandry!

Which game?!

Both are small scale (Pulp City actually has a much smaller mini requirement then Malifaux) and they both have themes that interest me.  The Malifaux system of using a deck of cards sounds interesting, but Pulp City is straight up super hero / super villains, which is just awesome.  So I am stuck researching  both.  Thankfully the Pulp City rules are available for download, but I need to find a way to get the stat cards so I can proxy and try out the games without purchasing anything.

So anyone out there have experience with either of these games?  What can you tell me about them?

My Deck: Let me Show You It

Scary title eh? Yea I thought so too. Anyway, the point of this post is to start showing the world my Magic the Gathering thoughts, and to start things off I am going to post one of the decks I have recently designed and have actually played. For those who are curious: I play Casual MTG, and generally ignore formats (Although I follow banned/restricted stuff). Having gotten back into the game from a 8 year hiatus, and having to rebuild my collection, I am doing pretty good. I have talked about a few decks previously, but to be honest they have not been up to snuff. This one, however, has done me well and could in a duel be just as dangerous.

Its called “Da Bearz!” and its a Bear Tribal deck. Thats right. Bears.


OH JESUS ITS A BEAR GET IN THE CAR

This was based on (and the first version I have built) my friend Christian’s Da Bearz deck.

So without further ado, here is the list (and you can find the deck on TappedOut HERE

Land (22)
22x Forest

Enchantment (7)
4x Beastmaster Ascension
3x Primal Rage

Sorcery (7)
2x Grizzly Fate
3x Overrun
2x Savage Conception

Instant (4)
4x Naturalize

Creature (20)
4x Ashcoat Bear
4x Grizzly Bears
4x Runeclaw Bear
4x Striped Bears
4x Werebear

The creatures themselves are not the big part of the deck. Matter of fact, they are all very plain. You have your standard Grizzly Bears and Runeclaw Bears. The Striped Bears net you a card, so its a 1 for 1. The Ashcoat’s have flash so can be played whenever you feel like it, and the Werebear’s accelerate things and also when you have Threshold become 4/4.

Its the rest of the deck that is so much fun. Firstly, the highest casting cost card in the deck is 7, and thats for the Flashback for Grizzly Fate. Everything else is dirt cheap. Once you have 6-7 lands in play you don’t need anymore. Well, in most decks that means your lands are useless, dead top decks right? Well, with Savage conception you can turn those lands into 3/3 Beast Tokens! Ahh Retrace, how I love you.

As we all know, Bears themselves are for the most part 2/2’s. How do we fix that? A judicious application of Beastmaster Ascension and Primal Rage (for Trample!) and when needed, a dash of Overrun. Stir until tasty.

Now the first version of this deck did VERY well, and blew a couple of other people out of the water. Nothing like swinging with 7 2/2 bears that suddenly become 7/7 with Trample. Sexy right there. Toss Overrun in the mix and hell you got a bunch of 10/10’s!

Issues that the deck has? Fliers for one. I have no way to deal with em. I was tempted to take out 2 Naturalize and add in 2 Gravity Well or Spidersilk Armor. I may end up doing that in the future, I guess it depends on whether or not I can keep the heat on my opponents.

So there you have it. Tribal Deck built with Bears. Oh and the best part? Cost me about $12 to build. That was IT.

My love/hate relationship with Miniwargaming

I both love and hate that hobby. Its hard to really describe. I guess you could say it all started with Warhammer 40k. Back when I was in Highschool, me and a group of friends founded a club, called the SGC (Strategic Games Club) which was sponsered and actually was a full club. We played a variety of games, from board games, to Magic the Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, and a few played Warhammer.

I convinced my mother to get my the Starter set for 40k back then, and it was the one with Space Marines and Dark Elder. For some reason I ended up going with the Dark Elder (I think in high school I was much more interested in “space elves” then I am now, go figure eh?) and I played a few times after school. I never painted them, and I never had money to expand so I just sorta played with what I had (I think it was like 400 points worth, MAYBE).


Look Ma! A Space Drow!

A few years later, I decided to try again, and ended up getting myself the Army Book for Vampire Counts. I never actually bought any units other then a single regiment of Skeletons, and I didn’t even put them together. My reason? No one to play with. Once again, I ended up wasting money with nothing to show for it. Thus I began to hate the hobby and those who played it, but at the same time I was still fascinated by it.

Fast foward a bit more, and I buy the Warhammer Fantasy starter kit, with the Dwarves and Goblins. I had decided at that time to play Goblins, and ran into another issue after building the minis and starting to paint them: I hated horde armies (too many dudes to paint), and was not a big fan of painting! Yet another aspect of the hobby I was unhappy with. Again, I was still fascinated by the actual GAME, but after roughly 8 years I had yet to actually PLAY it more then twice.

Move ahead a few more years (to last year actually) and I find myself again with the itch to play Miniatures games. I had tried DND Mini’s in the interm, and found it a bit boring and too much like a CCG (I like Magic but at least with that I can buy cards as needed and just build a deck). And then I heard about Warmachine and Hordes.

I dove in, buying a Cygnar battlebox, playing a few games, falling in love with the small scale, rules, and speed of gameplay. The group I played with was pretty cool at the time too. I bought some more models off a guy and found that in larger battles I disliked Cygnar. I sold em, and moved on to Trollbloods and found an army that despite losing with constantly I really enjoyed.

Then came the incidents at the store, the pressure to move up in point level when I didn’t want to, the mocking and heckling when I refused. The game was fun, but the community I had access to had turned horrid. And thus I sold my Trollbloods.

Do I regret selling them? Not at all.

However, I STILL want to play Miniatures games. I keep looking into them, trying to find one that is just right for me.

Malifaux? Could be, but the only place around my area that has players is that same store that ran me out of Warmahordes.

Warhammer 40k? I like the fluff, but the amount of models needed and the rules for painted to play in Tournaments makes me leery. Also the straight up cost to get a good sized army (2000+ points)

Brushfire? Its brand new, but again the only store that seems to have interested people around me is, yet again, the one that chased me out.

Warhammer Fantasy? Not in a million years. The only armies in that game I like are the 2 Horde armies (Skaven and Orcs/Goblins) and I cannot stand the thought of painting and buliding THAT many dudes.

Warmachine / Hordes? I love the system, and I really enjoy Mk2 and I love everything about this game! But the community that I have access to is horrid, full of super competative people who only seem to want to play high point games, which I don’t like.

Maybe I should try playing these games on Vassal only? I know that at least Warhammer and Warmachine have Vassal Modules. Perhaps I should try one of the many Collectable Mini games, like HeroClix? I have been playing HeroScape lately to kinda “sate” my want for tacticle mini combat, but the urge is there…foaming and growling just below the surface…and I have no idea what to do.

New “Review Segment” Coming!

I am not sure what to call it to be honest. Review segment? Feature? Weekly post? Anyway! There is something new coming on the horizon, and it has to do with something that has always fascinated me as a child.

And that is the old Choose Your Own Adventure books of my youth. When I was growing up, my family didn’t have alot of money for video games and the like. When everyone had an SNES and Genesis, I had a Sega Master System and an NES. When everyone had the N64 and Playstation, I still had the NES and a cheap All In One Compaq Presario 520 (still remember that thing).

So to get my gaming fix back then, I read Choose your Own Adventure Books (along with Goosebumps, but thats another story). As I grew older, I was still fascinated with the CYOA Concept, and I started to dig deeper. Eventually I discovered the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series of “Gamebooks” as they had come to be known. Sadly, I only own 1 of these books anymore, the Legend of Zagor book (which is where my Ill Fated Youtube Your Own Adventure idea came from)

However, rather then go through and try to do an interactive experience, I have decided instead to just do straight reviews of these books, much like one would review an RPG. Because that is what these are: Single Player RPGs. Straight up. For example, the Fighting Fantasy system uses dice rolls, character generation, and combat in addition to choosing which page to progress to.

So, once I get through (or die trying) the Legend of Zagor, I will then buy and review more of the various “Gamebooks” that I can find. Thus expanding my collection AND providing entertaining content to all of you. Hopefully I might inspire some of you to even get your OWN copies, thus making it worthwhile for the makers to produce more and and thus giving us all something to do.

So keep an eye out folks. ITS COMING!

Interview with On the Lamb Games

Another post on the same day as a rant about Champions Online? I must be mad! Well, this is more of an informative post rather then a rant against a game. You see, after I wrote my Brushfire post, I was approached by one of the designers of it, a gal by the name of Emily, to do an interview. I figured this would be a good idea, so I agreed and came up with some questions that her and the rest of the On the Lamb Games crew could answer. Rather then get into a detailed summary of who they are, what they are doing, and what they have done, I figured I would let the interview speak for itself.

However one thing I will say: On the Lamb Games is the creator of both Tabletop and MiniWargaming products. They are an indie developer, and have been around for roughly 3 years. You should check them out.

Here is the interview!

1. Who are you, and what are your backgrounds?

– Emily: I’m Emily Fontana, I have a background in computer animation and retail sales. I’ve been a video gamer most of my life, and started being a table top gamer after meeting Matt.

– Matt: I’m Matt Whitehouse, lead writer for On The Lamb Games. I’ve been gaming (digital and tabletop) since the late 80’s. I have absolutely no professional background. In addition to gaming, I’m a history and mythology nerd, and I dislike long walks on the beach, but I do like sunsets.

– Pedro: Who am I? Well answering that might take up to much time, but to use a quote, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” (~ Popeye, The Sailor) Eccentric if I had to tag myself with one word. I’m the type of person that like to learn new things, try new things, and even manages to have a ball playing survival horror role playing games, fulling knowing my character was doomed to begin with.

As for my background well not sure how far you want me go into that, but I was an outcast growing up, but it never bothered me. I’m the type of person that rather be hated for what they are, than loved for facade. More importantly while being an outcast meant I didn’t have to many friends we, where close and even now tho we scattered into the wind like grains of sand. Having that sorta bond we always had a blast while playing games.

Game in which while we saved the day, or doomed it. However, the journey was always greater than the destination. I like a lot of seemingly random things, such as Lovecraftian mythos, Combat, the science of the human body and warfare; On the flip side of that coin, is also cooking, medical tech and procedures, and steam punk; Just to name a few things.

2. What made you decide to start a game company?

– Matt: We didn’t actually set out to make a company, but when the economy tanked and I lost my job, while looking for a new one, I decided to write. We live in an area without an LGS and Gaming Clubs. So in lieu of playing a game We decided to write one. Legendary Realms (our first game) just started as a way to pass the time, but as we built on it, we really started to see it as a product, and we eventually resolved to actually publish it.

– Pedro: What made me want to start my own company? At its simplest, I remembered the games I enjoyed of my youth and how I felt while playing them. The joy, the ability to escape or explore, but above all the the time I got to spend with friends. In turn I wanted to carry that on; as I find it sometimes the simplest of joys and pleasures, are oft the greatest.

3. How long have you all been around as a company?

– Matt: Conceptually we started July 2007, around November of that year we knew we were going to publish it and named the company On The Lamb.

4. What is with the name “On the Lamb Productions”?

– Matt: We like making references to nerd culture, our products are littered with them. The title of the company comes from a certain yellow cartoon, in which an old man yells “Call me mint jelly, cause I’m ‘on the lamb’.” and then zooms off on an electric wheelchair. On the lam being a term for being a fugitive, the play on words, and reference was too delightful to pass up. OTL also embraces a bit of fugitiveness, in our total lack of business professionalism.

– Pedro: something to reflect our bit of a maverick style, yet something easy(ish) to remember. I remember the time I wrote up a quite pseudo-bio for the company and us its creators, that I’m still really bummed that the idea wasn’t used.

5. What products do you guys have right now?

– Matt: Currently we sell Legendary Realms, a simple, customizable, tabletop RPG, and two boxsets of Brushfire Miniatures, Badgers-at-Claw, and Mouse Conscripts. More miniatures are coming along with a full rulebook for Brushfire.

6. Which one would be your favorite?

– Matt: The Badgers-at-Claw just came out gorgeously, and I’m really excited to see more of the miniatures come back from the replicator.

– Pedro: Its hard to say, that’s like trying to ask a paren which of their children is their favorite. I Love all our products with equality.

– Emily: I’ll also second the Badgers, but the upcoming Weasel and Mongoose models are fantastic as well.

7. Has this been successful for you?

– Matt: We’ve sold reasonably well, but more than anything I think its successful because I’ve got my name in a book, and I’m proud of the content.

8. Do you do this as a full time job or on the side?

– Matt: Until 2010, OTL had been a ‘part-time business’ we each had other jobs that paid for OTL’s operations, printing books, etc. When we sold out of our first batch of Brushfire minis, we resolved to step it up, Emily and I now work full time on OTL, making sure everything gets out on time, and works perfectly. We still keep our unprofessional mentality, leaking info about our games, talking candidly, and avoiding ‘press releases’ as our only link to the community.

– Pedro: a bit of both really, granted I need a job to help pay the bills, but I still put in a lot of time brainstorming/ coming up with new concepts, balancing, etc

– Emily: Most of my time is taken up by OTL, mainly due to no one hiring me.

9. What has been your proudest achievement thus far?

– Matt: I think publishing my first book, being able to show off a physical copy to gamers, and have them really be excited and playing sessions with us.

– Pedro: its a tie between holding up my first copy of LR and holding the badger mini sent to us from the replicator.

– Emily: getting to make our own games, and having people want them.

10. What has been the worst thing to happen to you guys, as a company?

– Matt: We had a few conventions where we didn’t sell any books. With all the work invested even just into Con-Preparations it can be a little bit disheartening, but when people drop by the forums, or buy a book online after a convention like that, it still feels worth it.

– Pedro: a failure of a convention, I like to call “Vendor Con”. It was an attempt to get some LR exposure prior to the official release. Well, a Convention sorta needs attendants to work, but I rather not get to much into further detail as I don’t like talking to much on the matter.

– Emily: Vendor con was pretty bad.

11. Is there anything you would go back and redo now that you have been around for a while?

– Matt: Fix a typo.

– Pedro: yes, I’d like to get the **pseudo-bio and background for OTL either up on the website or into the books.

– Emily: I’m learned alot about how to do book layout, I’d like to go back and redo LR’s interior.

12. Any plans for the future? What can we expect to see from OTL in the future?

– Matt: In addition to miniatures for the 8 factions included in Brushfire’s rulebook, a supplement to Legendary Realms called Science Boy Detective will be our next project. We will also be releasing more free content on our websites, such as Ship to ship combat, mercenaries, and pirate factions for Brushfire.

– Pedro: More LR stuff, I’ve been working on some goodies, some that will be free on the website for people to enjoy, others to work into the next LR book; More minis and factions for Brushfire; SBD (Science Boy Detective); and two addition goodies that are top secret for now.

– Emily: We’ve got quite a few things up our sleeve..

13. Do you have anything to say to those aspiring game designers (myself included!)?

– Matt: If you have an idea, run with it. Even if it fails, you at least got it out there and, you can say ‘I made something, I made a game’. That feeling makes it worth it, and will keep you going on new projects.

– Pedro: Keep on reaching out for your dreams. To use one of my favorite nameless quotes, “A lifetime spent chasing after your dreams, is still a life well spent”

– Emily: Plan on failure, dream of success.

14. Finally, Who would win? Mecha Godzilla or the Megazord?

– Matt: Mecha Godzilla. It wasn’t in a movie that had a wizard clown selling slime.

– Pedro: Megazord, only due to its rampant power of plot. Moreover, it will be loosing until the last possible moment and then use its “5 minutes ’till the end of the episode/fight power” to win

– Emily: Gamera. Because he is filled with meat! (THIS IS NOT EVEN ONE OF THE OPTIONS! – Clay)

So there you have it. A window into the world of OTLG! I hope you have found this to be as interesting as I personally did, and I hope you check out their products: Legendary Realms, Brushfire, and Science Boy Detective. Happy Gaming Folks!

The Issue with Champions Online

So I recently started playing Champions Online again. I dusted off my old Munitions character “Enforcer”, changed him to Might with a Free Respec I had gained while gone, and started leveling again. I was 22 when I had stopped, and I am now 31. Not bad for about 2 weeks of playing.

But my problem with the game lies with its variety, or lack thereof. Let me explain.

For the first 27-30 levels, you have 3 zones. The Desert, Millenium City, and Canada. Thats it, 3 zones for roughly 30 levels. The Tutorial for example is Millenium City. Then, after you leave you can choose between the Desert or Canada. You will stay there till roughly level 14/15, and then you can go BACK to Millenium City to level till about 21/22. Then, its back to Canada or the Desert. Finally, when you reach 27 you can do the Monster Island Crisis (which is designed for level 30s so good luck).

Now the hilarity begins when you realize that from 30-40, the last 10 levels, you have 4 zones! Monster Island is open starting at 27, and at 31 you can do Lemuria. Then at 34 you can do the newly created Vibora Bay! Also, Canada has stuff for levels 37 and up! So for 3/4 of your characters life you have 3 zones, and then for the last 1/4 you have 4 zones! My friend who is level 40 barely touched Lemuria, and hasn’t even finish Monster Island or Vibora. I on the other hand have completely drained the Desert, Millenium City, and almost all of Canada. It has taken me lots of work to GET to 31 and now all of a sudden I have more stuff then I know what to do with!

This is the flaw in Champions. Lack of low level content. Sure, in the coming patch they are putting in this “Adventure Pack” that you can do at any level and is apparently repeateable, but who would want to keep doing the same stuff over and over and over again? Eventually they hope to have multiple “Adventure Packs” available which is good and all, I guess.

I am just hoping that eventually they add some more variety in leveling and some more questing options. The prospect of having to do this “Serpents Call” or whatever its called over and over to fill gaps is just sad.