Sunday, July 24, 2011

Storm of Miscasts

Just finished my first Storm of Magic game and wanted to get my first impression down before I forgot it.

Ok, I'll be honest, I wanted to get my first impression down while I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking.

Ok, fine, while I was waiting for the frozen pizza to warm.

My first impression goes a little something like this. "Wow look at all the cool stuff I can try to do. Too bad I just kept blowing myself up trying."

Actually, it wasn't even that cool. The two worst miscasts of the game came when both I and my opponent were trying to do completely routine things, as opposed to any of the new shiny spells. I turned one of my casters into a rampaging monster while trying to case Power of Darkness, and my opponent blew his caster and the fulcrum he was holding off the table while raising six zombies.

In the other game that was going on at the store today, they managed to turn all the casters on the table into toads three times. They spent half the game turning their casters back to normal only to have them turn into toads again.

It was fun, it's got potential, but I'm afraid unless you have just the right mindset or are in the right mood for it, it's just going to annoy the heck out of you.

The monsters are cool, the spells are impressive, but mostly you play the game if you want to watch a comedy of errors unfold before you.

You also need to make some serious adjustments to your normal lists for this game. 'I need more casters' is going to be said by pretty much everyone after their first try. I took three and felt like I should have taken 4.

For my monster allowance I took a Great Black Dragon and a Hydra. The SoM Hydra is more expensive and lacks Hatred and Handlers, but you can spend even more and give it a better ranged attack. I think once I get a hold of some of the other monsters I'm going to skip the SoM Hydra. The Dark Elf ones are better. I suspect that when they get around to re-writing the Dark Army book the Hydra will cost the same as it does in SoM and lack Hatred, and in all honesty I think that would be more balanced, but in the meantime I think there might be better monster choices available.

I'm going to make some more list tweaks and give it another go.

At this point I see this expansion as providing a little different flavor and some spectacular moments every once in a while. Which is really all I expected from it. So I think it's safe to say that it accomplishes that goal. Whether it will be worth the money or not depends on how often I feel like playing it versus normal Warhammer, and it's still too soon to know that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

So what's next?

There are a few things on the horizon for me, hobby-wise. I've been working on my Dark Elves for a couple of years now, and with the Quake City Rumble I finally feel like I can say I'm 'done' with my first army. Not 'done' as in 'done playing with them' or 'done painting them' or 'tired' of them, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment at having taken a fully painted and well performing army to a tournament. So at this point the only further things I'm planning to do with my Dark Elves are things I consider 'tweaks'. I've got some more Cold One Knights, and I want to bulk that unit up to 10 or 12. I've got some more Executioners and I want to bump that unit up to a good size and probably include a filler to help. I plan on continuing to use this army for fun and tournament play, and I'll probably make a fancier display board for them for next tournament season. I've got a couple more characters that I can paint and the new Black Dragon which I asked for as a birthday present. Those last two lead into the second thing on the horizon.

Storm of Magic was release this weekend. We had a release event all set up for today except for one small problem. GW didn't ship the books on time. I'm not sure if it was a global issue, or was specific to certain stores or regions, but we aren't getting it until Monday. So I guess I'll have to get a hold of it at some point this week and we'll reschedule our 'let's try out this new thing' event. Along with SoM are some new monster models, a few of which I've asked for as presents. I'm looking forward to painting those up and, from the sounds of it, a couple more spell casters. I've still got that GameZone Sorceress on Dark Pegasus that I've been looking for a reason to paint.

The third thing on the horizon is the one I've been thinking the most about this weekend. We've been talking at the store about doing another escalation league, and even better is that someone else is interested in running it. It seems like it would be cheating to walk in with fully painted Dark Elves, so I'm going to take this opportunity to spend some time with the Empire army I bought.

I had a fat gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so I purchased some additional stuff to give me some more list building options. Greatswords, State Troops, and...... Steam Tank! I couldn't resist, it just looked like it would be too much fun to paint. And with that my mind started working through how to go about painting them. After some reading and thinking, I've settled on not only a color scheme but a nice fluffy theme with some conversion opportunities that I'm already looking forward to.

For my Dark Elves I have a very loose 'Corsair' theme. Which basically means I put the big Corsair banners on as many units as possible. (Which reminds me.. I still have a couple of those to finish...) The colors, red and gold, were not typical Dark Elf colors. Most folks paint them something dark, like black, grey, purple, dark blue, etc. My Dark Elves are definitely more of a 'summer' looking army than the typical 'winter' look.

For the Empire I wanted something visually very different. Lots of the pictures of Empire armies are red and white, which was too close to my Dark Elves for me. So after some looking I settled on the blue and white of Middenheim. Middenheim has some nice fluff, being a fortress city on the top of a rocky mountain in the north of the Empire and home to the temple of Ulric, god of war, winter, and wolves. So I've decided to do a Middenheim 'Cult of Ulric' army. Lots of blue, gray, and white for colors, giving me a 'summer' army and a 'winter' army. (I guess then I'll have to figure out how to do Lizardmen and Vampire Counts as spring and fall.) Lots of conversion opportunities to add wolf bits here and there. I've already got some of the Knights of the White Wolf. No priests of Sigmar in this army, instead I'll be converting up some Warrior Priests of Ulric. Maybe even have a War Altar pulled by Dire Wolves instead of War Horses with a different statue on the back. I'm also trying to figure out how to make the mouths of the cannons look like wolves heads with open mouths. It should be fun.

So now I've got some bits hunting to do. The Space Wolves had a couple of bits that look useful. There are also just some plain wolves I could get to add to a unit here and there. The Warriors of Chaos cloaks are ok, but a little ragged looking. I'm also not sure about putting snow on their bases. Stone and gray gravel, definitely, but my concern with snow is that Empire models don't really look dressed for very cold weather and it might look odd to have them standing in snow.

Conversion thoughts and suggestions welcome.