Friday, November 30, 2012

Games Workshop- blowing up the Hobbit!

With less than 24 hours until biggest release of any Lord of the Rings materials since the last update of the source books, Is it really a surprise that Games Workshop is doing everything in their power to piss off and alienate the current die hard fans of the game.????

While there are certainly many of you who put up with Games Workshop shenanigans that only survive the free market due to their niche dominance and because of your love for their IP.  The diehard LotR fans dont have that obligation, as LotR is not their IP, we just love the models and put up with the rest of crap. I mean crap like zero event support or kicking all the hard working Indy TO's in nutz by completely blowing off this years U.S Throne of Skulls and of course the total employee apathy for the game ("too excited about 40K dude!!!") but I didn't really expect this one.

Last night over at the revamped Last Alliance, a fellow from Belgium got  his hands on the starter set and big rule book a bit early and let the cat the cat out of the bag, The mini manual in the starter set doesn't contain the stat profiles or point costs of the new models. The starter set scenario booklet contains the profiles but not the points. In short if you bought the starter set thinking you were getting the new rules. Think again laddie, its GW 2012!!!  you still have to buy the $85 USD big rule book if you want the full package, so the initial buy on the base new models in the US is $210 plus local tax!

Now some of you are saying, "hold on there John-boy" 40K and WFB starters never come with stat profiles you need to buy the army books!. Well sure!- except there is no army book, and while a $25 Unexpected Journey Sourcebook, would have been the right thing to do here, especially for veteran customers, instead you are now expected to buy the expensive big book, and the best part is they dont tell you that until you open the starter box! So if it wasn't for "whistleblowers" letting us know  in advance you are buying the starter set thinking you're getting something you are not. (Based on many years of the previous the LotR Releases that had included this info in both books)

Would knowing this in advance changed my pre orders?? I am not sure, it most certainly would have made me think about it, While I dont need the new profiles, I am not planning on playing any new lists any time soon. Since I don't care about the Dwarves..I wanted the starter set for the Goblins and Terrain and the Wizards...would the Big Book, a box of goblins and the Terrain, at $180 plus tax changed my mind?, No- the starter set is a rare good deal figure wise, although I do want to see all the new profiles, especially of the models I just freaking bought!!!!. so the Big Book is a must have for me eventually, too bad its shoved down my throat.

Now, I dont mind the change of the LotR release format to line up with the other games, that is expected. in a way. It's the "not telling anyone about it in advance" thing. That gets me. For the life of me I dont understand how they get away with treating us all like we are A) freaking idiots and/or B) where are filthy rich 12 year olds getting $500 a week allowance.  While B) is clearly GW's target customer, a little less of A) for the guys who have decades in the hobby might nice once in awhile.

The only reason I'm still around is they have an untouchable IP I love, that they shell out boatloads of cash to hold on to. Believe me the old PT Barnum addage "There is a sucker born every minute" has never been so true for all of us, that participate in the Games Workshop hobby. They suck, they suck rotten, stinking zombie ass, they truly do, and yet we keep on buying-

I'll be back next week, unboxing my gold plated toys for stay tuned..

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Antiquity Campaign- Round 2

The Campaign Map after 2 rounds

Hail Caesar play continues with our ongoing Antiquity Campaign.

Again the participants are :

Rome (Rome)
Persians- Achaemenid
Rome (Byzantium)

My Sparta played Jeff's Romans this week. and it typical Spartan fashion we won the battle but lost the war. In this case I broke his 50% threshold first so the game ended and I won the game however the points tallied up for the campaign scoring in terms of unit losses and objective points Jeff came out on top. Thats what happens when you have a few of expensive units and alot of cheap ones and lose the expensive ones.  Final Score 25 Byzantium, 23 Sparta.  Syracuse, in a or macro campaign, in which moves are based on your game scores- not whom you physically played that week. Took the Spartan Capital, so I had move it. I did take 4 other territories...we will how it goes in Round 3!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Liebster Award

I've never been one for these chain letter type awards that go around a couple times a year, but they do  often turn up a good blog I have never seen before. Since I was given this from my favorite blog from down under (NZ not AUS)  That'd be the humbly named  Scott's War-Gaming. I would be sorely remiss if I did not reciprocate.  Scott and I despite living worlds apart have near identical interests..and from what I read, I am sure he and I would game regularly if we lived in any kind of proximity to each other. 

The timing here is good, while this year is low point in blogging for me, I havent really been following the gaming scene in the last couple years and my project output had been minimal due other interests, work and my kids taking up more and more of my time. As a result I just don't find the time I had 5 or so years ago to work large armies etc...(I am struggling to get one Ancients Army painted) I find myself painting random fantasy pieces..(as I enjoy the painting) and playing Lord of the Rings...skirmish games are where its at for me these days, with LotR SBG being Rebranded the Hobbit SBG..and playing in all 3 LotR events at Adepticon this year...this will most likely be a Lord of the Rings Blog for the next 6 months. We've still got our Ancients Campaign happening, and I look forward to trying out some Bolt Action when I get a chance, Like anyone as time goes on my Hobbies and direction change. Anyway I guess what I am trying to say is, while the games might change the Hobbies still there for while its been a slow year..I expect to be picking things up bit really soon.

As for the Liebster Award, thanks for the nomination Scott, and I'll reciprocate to some fellow bloggers some who I know quite well and whose own blogs may have fallen off like mine but could come back at anytime, with any and all things gaming related, and they'll be good.

As part of receiving this award I am to pass this on to five other bloggers, (I'll list the criteria at end)
whose blogs I enjoy......(no particular order)

#1 Cursed Treasures-  My pal Tim out of Phoenix, Az. Tim was the author of the Legends of the High Seas book for Warhammer Historical and I met him thru Adepticon and my fandom of the game. Tim is righteous dude and we share similar interests in gaming from Pirates, LotR to WW2 gaming . Tim
is a great painter and gets into some other genres I've only been able to muse about like Old West and Pulp Gaming.

#2. Little Green Monsters  is my friend Aarons blog, Aaron is one of  our club night regulars and could be sculpting professionally if he wanted to and it paid the bills...he is a green stuff master, and while is output is sporadic his sculpting and conversion work on various WFB models is very well known around the scene here and worth a look. He's also has several bad ass FoW armies winning best appearance for his  early Soviet Army at last years Adepticon.

#3 Fist Full of Seamen. Ive spoken to this fellow on the Lead Adventure forum a couple times about our shared love of Pirate Ships. My friend here ( whose name is escaping me)  is the master, period of 28mm Pirate Ship building and converting. His gigantic fleet of ships is awe inspiring. (please go thru his archives to see all his ships.) He runs massive games on giant tables at these unknown Pirate events, that I have never heard off, that lie out the realm of GW organized gaming, and in the straight up Historical gaming camp.  I was invited to one of these events in Kansas City but could not attend, the blog lists the author as being in Wyoming, so I am not sure where the fellow actually is but like a good pirate he keeps his location well guarded.

#4 Belched from the Depths - if you're into old fantasy miniatures, like I am and have been collecting them for 35 years..then you will want to check out "Spooktalker"'s blog. Like me he apparently has lots of what I have sitting around in dusty boxes from a lifetime of collecting, but his stuff is all masterfully converted and painted. Probably one of my top five painters on the Lead Adventure forum (which is saying alot) and he wasnt even in last years Lead Painters League. Give it look , especially if you are into retro D&D, OSR gaming, you will be pleased.

#5. Chicago Terrain Factory- This is Rich's blog which has been around longer than mine. Rich has been the anchor of the Club since it moved into my basement.  Rich is also the guy that got me into Hirst Arts building. His Historical Armies are just great and have grown seeming exponentially over the last 3 years of so...He only works on Historicals these days and it shows...check out his awesome Arab Army, and he's getting fully painted units of alot of the new releases coming out (fireforge, etc) regularly. When he Chris get a chance to play in our current campaign with awesome fully painted Armies...I'll be there to take the pictures. Check out Chicago Terrain Factory for archives going back further than mine or info on his yearly (And now always sold out, Hirst Arts seminar at Adepticon)

Lastly here is the criteria for my nominees should you choose to partake

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it you.

2. Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.

3. Sit back and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you have made someones day!

4. There is no obligation to pass this onto someone else but its nice if you take the time to do so.

I'll be back shortly with our Antiquity Campaigns Round 2 Map and the unboxing for the new LotR release, (err. Hobbit Release!) Escape from Goblin Town.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bilbos Birthday Bash 2012- The Report!

Bilbos Birthday Bash 2012,  has concluded, another awesome year for what is now the only other Indy GT for LotR SBG left other than Adepticon.  It was a great weekend. I had a great time with some great company.  Final Scores are posted below I did very well for going 3-3 coming in 4th place overall due to high soft scores. I also snagged Best Appearance , Evil Army for my Angmar Army.  Top, top stuff this year, in the appearance department, most notably Jim Wappel who brought his professional touch to the event blowing everyones mind with pretty much the best stuff I've seen for the game ever. Pages of White Dwarf included. My pictures dont do it justice. He got the Best Overall appearance award, while Jeremy Williams  and I split the individual good/evil appearance trophies. In the gameplay department, Kyle Toth blew all the competitiion of the water winning over all by 40 points!..I thought my 18 point lead at the Adepticon Championships was high, well he over doubled it.

Alot of first's this year, alot of new players, new awards, catered lunch. We had seven players (23% of the field) drop out within 48 hours of the tourney, that is was huge number and a bummer the positive note is given who wasnt here, and the new players that were, I dont think 40 players is an unreasonable number next year getting back to 2011's attendance. Despite my fondness for Tim at the Chicago Battle Bunker, and the staff always courtesy and friendly. I think this event has run its course there. With tourney and the game as it stands, some other venue would be much better suited. GW offers no prize support, it was all donated or purchased from entry fees and the Bunker in its new configuration is just too crowded..Having to play a LotR tourney shoulder to shoulder with casual games of 40K wasn't ideal. Minor points of an otherwise great weekend. I'd love to see BBB become along the lines of some the popular WFB tourneys here which a two day affairs in hotel ballrooms with amenities, places to stay for out of towners, etc. The one thing I do miss about WFB, certainly not "The Game" but the quality of the Events. BBB is the cream of the crop for the system by far (now that GitD has rode into the sunset for LotR) but despite the fun time at dinner saturday night, better access to things like coffee, alcohol, food and bathrooms without the GW store restrictions would be nice.

Anyway not to sour the events of the weekend in anyway. again a great time, and everyone went home thinking about what the bringing to Adepticon and what the new hobbit movies are going bring , will know in just a month.!

If you are interested in my games and some analysis..I didnt keep track of enough for proper battle reports but my games went down like this.  Scenarios were Domination , Lords of Battle, and Reconnoiter.

 Grey Company vs Corsairs of Umbar- Minor Defeat
Angmar vs Erebor  Major Defeat 
Angmar vs Rohan  Minor Victory


Grey Company vs Moria- Minor Victory
Angmar vs Rohan- Minor Defeat
Grey Company vs Mordor - Major Victory

My Grey Company performed stellar, I faced a nasty Corsairs army first round, I have played them in years, and hadnt played my Grey Company in this configuration ever, or at all in over a year. It took me awhile to back in the swing, I'll chalk that first game up to being very very rusty, over the GC list in the new books at 30 models is very powerful.  My Angmar list has some good tricks, again learning them under pressure. Hadnt never used any of the new models (witch king, bhurdur or the shade) in a game before  Shade is keeper at 100 points, Bhurdur no way at 110 he's just not worth it.
while he looks awesome, another Orc Captain and 8 Warriors and another tracker would have made a much more formidable force.  Anyway that's all I have on BBB, as always props to Brent and Chris for running it and all the hardwork..I'll close it out with a bunch of pictures of alot of James Wappel's stuff and the final results.


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