Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Year's Resolution - Review

I made a couple of resolutions back in January in regards to Warmachine:
  1. Don't play another faction
  2. Play at least three games a month (not counting tournaments)
  3. Play in at least three tournaments
  4. Keep writing on this blog every once in a while
  5. Let people know I stole the title of this blog from a CARCASS song

So how did I do? Pretty well, I think.

1. Despite a few weeks early on where I was quite upset at only getting two releases this cycle and intent on playing Skorne, I have in fact been playing Barnabas, Maelok and Rask for the vast majority of my games. I had a couple of lull moments in the year where I borrowed other people's models to keep my interest up on weekly game nights, playing some Khador, Pigmans, Protectorate, CoC, Skorne, and yes, even some Calaban (enough to keep the hate meter full). I still do not own any Skorne models.

2. Easy - I put Thursday evenings aside for Warmachine and try to get a game every time. I also played on Tuesdays for a while since X-Factor was on TV and I made a conscious decision to get the hell out of the house.

3. Achieved:
  • Ides of March - 25/37
  • Beermachine 2013A - 12/12 - I was playing Skorne and rage drank the rest of the event after rolling snakes 3 attacks in a row with a Bronzeback (1 in 46,656 odds). That is what we call "snakes from the divine".
  • Wolfcry - 4/16
  • Who's the Boss - 1/16
  • eChoptober - 3/16
  • Rallypoint - 9/24
  • There was another Beermachine in there but I drank too much delicious cinnamon liquor and decided to scoop my last two games so no idea what else happened. Pretty sure I didn't come last.
I don't travel much for events so I am really happy to see the number of local tournaments go up (especially 1 dayers!). I am also fortunate to belong to a community with a lot of really cool guys that I never get to see outside Warmachine tournaments but always have a great time playing against no matter the outcome and hanging out with between rounds.
Again a special shoutout to the NZ WM community people who gave up their time and opportunity to play so I could play in tournaments this year: Dave Stent, Chris Russell, Luke Brimblecombe, Damian Caulfield and Daniel Conlon.

4. I'm still here? Very surprising, to be honest. Who else could have written this many posts in a year with almost no releases? Probably anyone with a Cryx blog.

5. This is true. CARCASS reformed and put out a new album this year. It's not Necroticism or Heartwork, but it's pretty good.

How did your gaming resolutions go? I hope nobody made a resolution to play Calaban all year.

Playing the same list for a year straight

Overall, I've had a good time playing Gators. I like the feeling of being so familiar with my models and their abilities that I know exactly what they are capable of and what they aren't so can spend my games reacting to my opponent and setting up for my next turns rather than getting frustrated because I forgot some ability. For instance, I've become eerily familiar with the distances of 10.5"and 12" and have an intuitive sense for how much punishment my stuff can dish out and how much punishment it can take (statistically speaking).The only things I somethings forget at this stage are Snacking on the Wrastler and Girded on the Spitter (both of which hardly come into play). (1)

I know most of my good matchups, and most of my bad ones, and wish they weren't so skewy. I know Rask beats Ret really easily in any scenario game, and I can outgrind most generic Troll lists without issue. On the flipside, I know that I can demonstrably play better than Cryx opponents and still have it end up in a really, really close game that can go either way, or I can get slightly outplayed by a Cryx player and just get completely steamrolled with little chance for retaliation. If I see a Colossal across the table, the odds of killing it or winning in a single-zone scenario without Rask are minuscule. I can't do anything against multiple incorporeal models, and get hosed in the piece-trade game vs weapon master swarms. From this, I also realize that my placing in a tournament can have almost as much do to with my draw as my play.

I like that after I lose a game, I can usually analyze the game and know how I would play that match-up better next time with the range of tools I have rather than feeling like I should buy a unit of Kayazy or Boomhowlers or Gorman or whatever OP merc models and then have a much easier time of winning (2). I also accept that because I play Minions, there's just some games where I am way undergeared and have the odds stacked against me irrelevant of my play.

But that's ok, and it comes with the territory.

Gators are fun. I am really familiar with them and love playing them for their strengths and weaknesses rather than in spite of them. It makes every win more rewarding and softens the blow of every loss. They don't cost me much money at all, which as a married man is super awesome. It is probably the first time in 15+ years of playing miniature tactical wargames that I can say that this particular army has really been worth the time and money investment relative to actual play time - I've always gotten the most out of the hobby through painting in the past.

I look forward to playing them again for another year of not getting releases and doing my best against mostly unfavorable match-ups in a competitive setting.


I'm putting this up a little early since I don't foresee too much happening around Warmachine in my life for a month or two. Shamblers aren't being  officially released for at least another 4 months, the next tournament I have lined up is mid-February (35pts using almost the exactly same lists I would have played February last year), and the next Hordes releases are probably quite a ways away. And summer is the best time to hang out, drink beer, travel, go camping, and so on.

Here is a pic of the Shamblers in case anyone missed it (sold for 75 USD at the con, if that's any indication):

That's a lot of metal.

Those won't be available to the general public for quite a few months anyway it seems, but at least they exist!

All I have to look forward to in the near future are the sweet, sweet tears of the Ret forum when they get more well-balanced models rather than the OP shit they crave desperately (I do really like the Houseguard Thane for them - still makes no difference against Rask but certainly gives them another situational tool in the proverbial box).

(1)It's a lot like how I felt when I played eButcher (still probably my favourite caster in the game) until it came to light that no matter how well you play it, running multiple Khador jacks has way too high an opportunity cost. If they improve the warjack/focus benefit for Khador, it's the one thing might make me start another faction. Fortunately, I am probably safe from that happening for a really long time as it would require some pretty fundamental changes.

(2) What I now like to call 'the Diablo 3 effect', to which I am especially sensitive.


  1. Thanks for sticking with your gators this year!

    Your posts have been very helpful in learning my way through my own gator force. As someone who plays about one game a month, your articles really help me understand the more competitive strategies out there.

    1. Thanks! Your models look -amazing- and put my stuff to shame.

  2. I really like your blog, and your writing style.
    Please keep playing with gators in this year :)
    I would also gladly read some modelling/conversion/painting topics
    Cheers :)