Friday, September 17, 2010

More Angry Space Knights

WIP pictures of my rhinos and two test crusaders. The crusaders are from the Assault on Black Reach set. The sculpts are beautiful. I've pledged to paint about 200 points of Black Templar a month in A Tale of 40K Painters over at Warseer. The overall goal is a 2,000pt army within a year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Angry Space Knights

Apologies for the obnoxious size and quality of the pictures. My camera was lost in a drunken rage this past weekend, so these pictures had to be taken on my cell phone. Pictured above is a WIP Black Templar Rhino, one of two that will be in a 500 point list that I hope to have painted by the end of September.

This tank is the first model that I've painted in years. I'm not very happy with the highlights, but I am happy with the overall progress so far. I still need to finish the highlights, paint the details, and add some heraldry (crosses, scripture, etc). I would love to add some freehand design to the hull of the tank, but I'm afraid to ruin an otherwise acceptable tank with a bad attempt at art. Regardless, the second rhino will be a smoother operation.

The following is what I'll initially be playing/painting towards.

Emperor's Champion -- 140

Crusader Squad
5 initiates; 2 neophytes: 1 Meltagun, 1 Powerfist
- Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers -- 178

Crusader Squad
5 initiates; 2 neophytes: 1 Meltagun, 1 Powerfist
- Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers -- 178

Total: 496

One man crime wave... Seabolt!

Name: Seabolt
Origin: Nature
Affiliation: None
Occupation: Villain

Special Abilities:

Water: Is immune to "water" effects and takes double damage from "fire" attacks.
Annoying: The enemy does not gain a charge bonus.
Molecular Manipulation (2): Seabolt can modify his agility or strength while negatively effecting the other stat.
Immune/Difficult Terrain: Seabolt is not slowed down/effected by difficult terrain.

Exclusive Actions:

Spray: An attack that can hit multiple enemies (because of Ray rule), regardless if an enemy takes damage or not models hit by this attack suffer a -2 to their shooting attacks. Since a good amount of heroes tend to favor ranged combat this is a good ability to hamper that, the fact that it can effect multiple opponents is a plus.

Drowning: A basic strike that costs 2 AP, if the enemy is damaged all of it's actions cost an additional AP. I still haven't used this ability but that doesn't mean I do not see it's merit. With molecular manipulation Seabolt can make his strength a mighty 6! Which means he can be a beast with a strike. The only downside is that since strength is not his trump trait he cannot re-roll the result.

Flux: One of my favorite powers to use with Seabolt, it makes him spectral (making him immune to strength based attacks) and gains blitzer (2) so all his move actions gain an extra 2". Mix this with the following power and you get an idea why Seabolt is so well liked among villain players...

Go With the Flow: This action allows Seabolt to move 8" in a straight line (10" if he has Flux on) anything that was within 2" of that line is hit with an opposed roll against their agility. For every model that is damaged you gain a +1 to the next person that is hit by this attack to a max of +3. If that wasn't enough anyone damaged can be placed anywhere along the line that he traveled!

This ability is great because it can effect a good number of models and Seabolt will gain bonuses against other targets in the effected area. It also gives Seabolt a measure of control by placing models he has damaged further away from their friends or closer to your own models.

Team Power:

Smokin' Wet: Seabolt can freely leave combat without consequence and in addition the 2" area around Seabolt counts as difficult.

It's not easy being a bulwark...

Cash Johnson once again, this time with a somewhat-game-related subject, but not any game specifically. This post is more about my being a hardcore gamer, the difficulties of being non-neckbeard, and the work I put in trying to keep the local RT in business. It all started when I was about 9 or 10, and my cousin got me into AD&D - more accurately, I found out about it but wasn't allowed to play since I was a little kid and all. Not to be denied, however, I started doing research the best way I knew how at the time - I went to the electronic card catalog at the local library to find out everything I could, and wound up finding the original D&D books at another library. It was also around the same time I got into reading, having discovered there were interesting books outside of the realm of school - the Dragonlance and Ravenloft books specifically.

Then when I was in Fourth Grade, I convinced my parents to get me a copy of the Hero Quest board game, and my love of board games was further kindled. I also vaguely remember a game called Solarquest (which now goes for $168 on Amazon due to its rarity) that occupied much of my time as well. I also started getting into chess at that point, playing my dad every Sunday night at his prompting. So there I was, leaving elementary school, a nerd in training. Get to middle school and my gaming expansion changed - I learned about Rifts, Planescape, and Games Workshop (in its 2nd Edition at the time). While I couldn't afford to get into Warhammer 40,000 at the time, I was still able to follow along as best I could, while still playing in the world of AD&D to sate my gaming hunger. Years passed, games were played in earnest, and I left high school immersed in fantasy and science fiction, having read plenty of books in the meantime (none of which were ever for school).

So time advances even further now, in college, boxes of RPG books stored neatly in the back corner of my bedroom, when I finally have money to get into Warhammer 40,000 - 4th Edition, before everything became HURR SPESS MAREENS. I picked up the Battle for Macragge box set, since I needed the tiny rulebook, and decided to do Tyranids (though Orks have always been my first love) because they were way cooler looking than the Space Marines (and still are). The problem was, at the time, in-store gaming had pretty much died out at the RT I had been frequenting for eleven years by that point. People came in to buy GW, but already knew other people to play with and never came into the store to get games going anymore.

I can honestly say that I was the one to jump start in-store gaming at the RT again, and did it with a single printed flyer I had asked them to post behind the counter. I gave my e-mail address and asked other people to contact me as I wanted to play. It worked, and every weekend I could be found holding court with other gamers in a corner of the store. Then GW decided to create the 'Ard Boyz tournament, and the store was going to host it. Met more gamers, some who continued to come to the store after that for a while too. Games Workshop sales increased after the in-store gaming came back to life (thanks to my quasi-crew). We started playing during the week as well, and explaining the game to people who came in and were interested in what we were doing. We sold dozens of starter boxes to total strangers, helped new players buy models to match their styles, and continued holding court and talking shop. We enjoyed our privileged positions up until a little after the economy went to shit, and have been trying our hardest to keep the gaming community alive at the RT since.

But it's hard being a hardcore nerd in an economic climate such as this. Prices of minis have gone up. Prices of RPG books have gone up, and you can't just play with one or two books anymore either. Then there's the flooding of the gaming market - Games Workshop has a lot of competition now from other companies, and 40k has taken a backseat with a lot of people now that 8th Edition Fantasy is out and about. The biggest hurdle is trying to clean up the mess left by one of the recent ex-employees of the RT: he was a die hard Warmahordes fan and actually tried to sabotage Games Workshop sales (aka "the light bill") by converting everyone to play what he wanted (this is also the same guy who ruined Monsterpocalypse for the store).

The problem here is that GW is a collector's game - for people who enjoy building, converting, painting and playing a large scale game of total warfare. This worked great for the store over the years, as it was steady income outside of the December holiday season and kept people in the store. Now that Warmahordes is in the RT, it represents a double-edged threat to an already shaky market. First, it cuts into GW sales, which as I mentioned before has been the store's "light bill" for years. Second, The game itself is not sustainable in the long-term - once you own the minis you need, you're done buying. Because I have been going to the RT for 16 years of my life, I have grown quite attached to it, and as a CUSTOMER I think in terms of what is good for the store, not for me. I'd love to bring new games into the store, and the crew and I have tried on several occasions, but it's hard to convince a store to bring product in when they just brought another game in that has started to taper off already (they tried it with AT-43 and that was a MASSIVE failure for sales, everything went to eBay).

Right now, things are going okay at the store. The crew and I have managed to get a lot of people interested in Blood Bowl, with about 9 teams currently represented in the RT. Malifaux, Hell Dorado and Secrets of the Third Reich are next on the list, followed by Pulp City, AEWW2 and Infinity. There was a brief resurgence of Magic: The Gathering in the store as well, but that died out with the new sets that came out after M10. The main efforts at the moment are getting people in the store to play games, no matter what games they are - that's the only way to keep people buying products at the moment. We need to bring in other small, inexpensive games to offer options other than Warhammer and Warmahordes. We need to hold more in-store events and demo days. It's just hard when you're one of the few people who would actually take the initiative to do it, because you'd be all by yourself when the day is over.

- Cash

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ratty Reflections

Cash Johnson with another 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy blog. Well, the 'Ard Boyz didn't happen at the store, mainly because of (from what I'm told) the GW Rep screwing up royal and not signing us up to host it - we made a Blood Bowl day out of it instead, but still... we wanted to play! In any case, the Island of Blood starter box went on sale this weekend, and I happened to get free minis out of a friend's purchase. I only wanted the Rat Ogre, who became #13 of Clan Xymox, but he offered me the rest of the rats as well, which brought about a single notion in my mind - I had already sold off 5,000+ points in Skaven to begin with, so do I really want more of them again?

The answer was a resounding "hell yes!"

So I now bring your attention to my original Skaven plan, which has eluded me for some time, and can now be done from scratch. I've always loved Clan Skryre, simply because in a medieval styled world, they brought about the most advanced steampunk technology, powered by magical cocaine. Chemical weapons, flamethrowers, machineguns, sniper rifles, magic-laser cannons... who WOULDN'T want to play an army like that? The problem with the previous edition of the Skaven rules was an all-Skryre list relied solely on casters and Warp Lightning Cannons to do the most damage, with Jezzails sniping cavalry and monsters and solo characters. Okay, so the all-Skryre list STILL has that as a core, but the difference NOW is new spells, better shooting rules, and awesome new support weapons (I'm looking at you, Mortar Team). To add to the fun, more named characters to throw into a list - specifically speaking, Ikit Claw. A level three caster with a 3+ Armour save is BEAUTIFUL, not to mention Strength 6 with Ignores Armour in combat, plus a one-shot Warpfire Thrower for free, AND a Bound spell that can cause 10 Strength 5 hits?! Sure, he costs 395 points, but that's a fair price to pay for a cyborg-wizard-rat that exists solely to cause damage and destruction.

So what's in the rest of my 2250 list on paper? Well, I based it on purchasing an Island of Blood for myself and repaying my friend the favor by giving him all the High Elves from it, so two starter boxes are factored in. As far as concept after that, I decided character-heavy would be the cheapest, and most powerful route for Skryre - lots of fancy gear and Magic items...

1. Ikit Claw - see above. 395 points.

2. Warlord (General) - Cleaver of Swift Slaying, Warpstone Armour, Talisman of Protection, Shield. 168 points.

3. Warlock Engineer (Lv 1) - Warplock Pistol, 2 Warpstone Tokens. 103 points.

4. Warlock Engineer - Warpmusket, Warlock Optics, Pipes of Piebald. Attached to Jezzail unit. 75 points.

5. Chieftain (BSB) - Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Banner of the Under-Empire. 97 points.

6. Chieftain - Ogre Blade, Seed of Rebirth, Heavy Armour, Shield. 97 points.

7. 2 Units of 30 Clanrats - Full Command, Hand Weapons, Light Armour, Shields, Poisoned Wind Mortar. 220 points each.

8. 1 Unit of 40 Clanrats - Full Command, Hand Weapons, Spears, Light Armour, Shields, Warpfire Thrower. 290 points.

9. 1 Unit of 25 Stormvermin - Full Command, Hand Weapons, Halberds, Heavy Armour, Shields, Warpfire Thrower. 295 points.

10. 1 Unit of 5 Jezzails - Sharpshooter. 110 points.

11. 2 Warp Lightning Cannons - 90 points each.

The plan is simple: shoot the living hell out of anything and everything I can. Lots of templates, maximum of five spells per turn, plus six rifles firing a turn (two at BS 4, one ignoring cover penalties) to take out larger targets quickly. The downside to a list like this is the lack of numbers. At only 111 models, plus Cannon crew, it needs to hit hard and hit fast in the first two turns to make any real difference - against swarm armies, this is INCREDIBLY vital. It will also require special dice to play - green dice for sure, with either marble or glitter finish, or else I risk insulting the Horned Rat. You may be asking why I don't take a Doomwheel at this point, and that answer is simple too: it is an uncontrollable chariot that would need to be doubled up to prevent being wasted early on, and the actual kit is a pain in the ass to build - the 'shiny toy' of the Skaven army book (as every new book has its shiny toy units).

Which brings us to the color scheme of the proposed army. When I think of any kind of magic, I think 'blue.' Perhaps it is a throwback memory to Magic: The Gathering, or maybe just the fact that I like blue, but that's how it is. At the same time, Skaven magic is 'green' because of their love of Chaos cocaine, so I went for a compromise - the cloth and uniforms will be Hawk Turquoise, but instead of using a blue wash, I plan to dirty the robes and such with Gryphonne Sepia (my ink of choice at the moment). Fur will be, for the most part, Dheneb Stone with Sepia wash over that as well (as evidenced by Clan Xymox). A lot of Dwarf Bronze will be used, with some Chainmail for accents, but primarily the Bronze color, which suits their style of mass-production better. Anything warpstone will, naturally, be Dark Angels Green with Scorpion Green drybrushing and edging. I also mixed a custom pink I call 'Rat-tail' which is perfect for Skaven, again washed in Sepia to muddy it up. I am thinking of using a yellow for the eyes with Rotting Flesh to highlight, but not sure yet - the Warlord and Engineers will definitely be using Scorpion Green for the eyes with another accent color.

Finally, what do I think of the Island of Blood models? Amazingly done (as you can see from Jonathan above in the picture). I appreciate the Warlock Engineer being all gunslinger, what with the halberd and giant backpack he's got on. The Rat Ogres are VERY nice, and the one with the blade arm would make a perfect Master-bred. I am thankful for both weapon teams, but none more than the Poisoned Wind Mortar - I love the WWI gas masks, and the fact they are plastic is even better, as much of my previous Skaven force was fragile pewter (and must always be handled with care else they break). The Warlord, however, is the best model of the Skaven half of the box (the Griffon being top prize) - the detail and pose of the Warlord is quite dynamic, and worthy of being my general. Now I just need to come up with moneys to get more rats. Probably sell my Empire. Silly man-things, thinking they can win.

- Cash

Saturday, September 4, 2010

South Korean Superstar

The release of Starcraft II signals a new dawn for computer gamers all over the world. The first Starcraft is one of the best RTS strategy games ever made and is the one which all others are compared against. The sequel does it's predecessor proud.

Just as a note before I discuss the game, in South Korea the top players are like movie stars. They play in packed stadiums where they are watched by adoring fans who follow on massive jumbotron like projectors. While the game is not quite on that level here in the states it is one of the best games available on the computer. The following will be a general overview of the game and will not go into strategy which will be discussed in a different article.

For those of you that don't know starcraft features three different races. The first are the terran who draw a similar comparison to the mobile infantry from Starship Troopers or the Imperial Guard for are warhammer followers. The second group are the zerg. This ailen race is pretty much a carbon copy of the bugs from Starship Troopers, and again for are Warhammer 40k followers they would be the Tyranids. The final group are the Protoss. They are a psionic wielding race who do not have a Starship Troopers reference, but they are similar to the Eldar in Warhammer 40k.

First, the greatest thing about starcraft is that there is no monthly fee, which annoys me with games like WOW or Eve. The game is played on Blizzards Battlenet server which always has over 1 million players on which makes it nice and easy to get a match. Now a big improvement over the first Starcraft is that now you are matched against players of the same skill level. The server is broken up into 5 different player levels ranging from bronze up to platinum. This makes for a much mor enjoyable gaming experience which allows new players to learn the game while not getting brutally masacred within the first 10 mins of the game.

The University of Florida is currently offering Starcraft as an honors level course. Who said college was no fun. The point of the course is to teach students about resource management. This is an interesting concept but seems more like it should be a club and not an honors level course.

-Mikey H

Friday, September 3, 2010

A trip down memory lane.. and survivng at the end..

The last time I really enjoyed playing card games was when I was playing Magic the Gathering and my Morphlings were still "legal" to play (1998-1999). Those were the good old days playing at the local
comic book store and the not so local game store Neutral Ground (R.I.P) in NYC. In particular I enjoyed playing in pre-release sealed deck tournaments. Where I believed things were more level among the players. It was down to luck and being a better player that would win you match.

Ever since I stopped playing Magic I swore off card games the same way someone swears off alcohol after a particularly nasty bender. It was during that time that I turned heavily towards miniature war gaming as a matter of fact. Warhammer 40k being the drug of choice at the time, it was not long after all my cards were put into shoe boxes and forgotten about just like an ex girlfriend forgotten out of mind and out of sight.

After many fruitful years of war gaming temptation struck again and I looked into card games. The first was Warlord Saga of the Storm a game that uses a d20 (always a plus!) the objective of the game was to kill the opposing Warlord all the while cutting through swathes of other characters. Though I didn't play very long in the game I do have to say I did have fun. Especially when I won a sealed deck tournament solely based on the fact that I didn't roll lower than a 17 for armor for Badu Lutalo!

Despite all of this I felt something was missing and I stopped collecting Warlord out of nowhere. I do have to admit I am quite the fickle creature but I digress. Next came VS. System which was a game about superheros not just any superheroes but those from the Marvel and DC universe.

At first just like any game it seemed fresh and innovative and like every gamer I collected obsessively. After stock piling a mess of cards I thought myself well enough to participate in one of their tournaments at Gen Con. It was right after the opposing players turn that I realized how much fun the game WASN'T. Now I understand that it was a tournament but I have never seen that many mirror matches in my life.

If you aren't familiar with the term "mirror match" it means that your opponent and/or many of the other players brought the EXACT same deck that you or someone you have faced has. Making for quite a boring/repetitive game especially if you have to face it three to four rounds of the tournament. It was right after I finished the tourney that I put my cards into my deck box and haven't touched them since.

Again maybe foolishly I swore off card games yet again and delved deeper into the realm of miniature gaming. In particular during that time I found that skirmish games were the niche where I had finally found the perfect balance of game. But I will save that for another post..

Fast forward to about a month ago where me and the group went on our annual trip to Indiana for Gen Con. It is a tradition that we usually pick up and invest in a new game to play during the year. I have to admit the salesmen are quite convincing in their sales pitch. This year while the group waded through the dealers hall (think a mix of a troll/asian market) we found two games that caught our attention.

The first was "The Spoils" a game that was part satire part fantasy/victorian/steam punk/etc yes those are quite a few parts. Having previously seen The Spoils a few years back I was relieved to see that they came back in force with a new set being released at the convention. It didn't take much convincing to split a starter with Mike along with a box of booster packs and all before knowing how to even play the game!

Once we started playing though everything went smooth the system is very intuitive and straight forward. The cards as mentioned above are hilarious and make many references to popular icons and culture. There are five factions that each play differently: Bankers, Arcanists, Rogues, Gearsmiths and Warlords. Each of the factions is trying to gain Influence over all the others in game you are trying to reduce your opponents Influence to zero.

Each faction has their certain play style and flavor in The Spoils a brief overview based on my findings are:

-Banker- Are good at card drawing and gaining influence, they also have a jack of all trades feel where they can get abilities other factions do but it comes at a high cost. Their story is that they are a bunch of cat people (for lack of a better word) that resurrect the dead to pay off their debts.

-Rogue- Uses the opponents discard pile against them, either through gaining abilities/stats on their characters or simply denying the enemy the chance to gain their cards back. They also sport loads of characters with higher speed, nifty because high speed characters resolve their damage before slower characters. They also boast cards that can take over an opponents characters.

-Warlord- Not very good at playing any "tricks" but what they do they excel in and that is beat down on their enemy. Sporting some of the higher strength characters they have one goal in mind and that is straight attack. Their items and actions support this by giving strength bonuses to their characters to end the game quick and decisively.

-Gearsmith- As their name would suggest have the most items/gear than any of the other factions, they also have the ability to spawn the most tokens (free characters). Along with the ability to look for certain cards (mainly items) which as any card player knows is an amazing ability getting the card you need when you need it. The Gearsmiths themselves are immature elves that talk in 'l33t' or 'net' speak as they say which is quite the novel idea.

-Arcanist- The faction that has the most "covert" characters (covert means the character can only be blocked by other characters with the covert skill), they excel in making the opponent discard and returning cards to its owners hand.

The second game that caught my eye was Call of Cthulhu by Fantasy Flight Games, if you are not familiar with Call of Cthulhu it is based on the short stories by a writer call H.P Lovecraft. I have always been a fan of Lovecraft and his stories so a card game revolving around the mythos had me sold. Set in roughly the 1920s Call of Cthulhu is a game of horror and survival, of crazed man men and monsters fighting against brave adventurers and archeologists all the while trying to stay sane from the sights that they have seen.

Call of Cthulhu is a "living card game" which means that unlike most card games it is not collectible, there is no randomization in the packs you receive. Every set has the exact same cards with the exact same multiples of said card. There is no blind buying, if you need a certain card just look up online what set has it and purchase just that set. Not only will you have the card you need but you also get a play set (2-3 copies of the card) also.

In Call of Cthulhu there are seven factions:

Agency - consists of government officials like police and investigators.
Miskatonic University- an academic group of researchers with great knowledge.
Syndicate- mobsters, journalists and hit men looking to further their ends.
Cthulhu- made up of cultists and monsters who follow the great Cthulu.
Hastur- followers of the "King in Yellow" made up of psychopaths and minions.
Yog Sothoth- learned scholars and cultists who summon trans dimensional beings.
Shub Niggurath- focuses on the many monsters that Shub Niggurath has spawned.

So after many years and false starts I have finally picked up two card games that I am really excited to play. Hopefully in the next coming posts I can post up some of my decks and tactics along with more in depth report on each game. Till then thanks for reading my trip along memory lane.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Xenobi, Miniature Kingpin

Name: Xenobi
Origin: Nature
Affiliation: None
Occupation: Villain

Xenobi is one of the many genetic creations that Mysterious Man has spawned to do his bidding. Part runt part side kick Xenobi tries to emulate his maker to varying degrees of success.

Special Abilities:

Molecular Manipulation (1): This special ability allows Xenobi during his activation to move 1 point of strength to his agility or vice versa until the end of the round. Quite useful when Xenobi already has an agility score of 6! Though his strength is only 3 it is his trump trait and along with molecular manipulation it becomes a respectable 4.

Exclusive Actions:

Punching Bag: If a friendly model takes damage and is within 2" a player may move the damage to Xenobi

Taunting: Xenobi chooses an opposing model that cannot move farther away than it initially was from Xenobi. In addition if that model tries to shoot at a model that isn't Xenobi it suffers a -1 penalty. This gives Xenobi a very limited movement manipulation ability that is good to have in a pinch.

Instant Mutation: One of Xenobi's signature abilities it allows him to add 1-6 points of strength to his roll when attacking. It comes at a price though, if you roll equal to or lower to the dice roll Xenobi takes that many points of damage at the end of the activation. This ability makes Xenobi one hell of a beat stick even if he might not survive the return attack from one very angry supreme.

Ka-Boom: This action gives Xenobi a ranged attacked with a small difference, in addition to possibly injuring an enemy supreme. Xenobi is also launched back d6 inches (the number he rolled for the opposed roll) directly back. Which helps him get away from anything too dangerous or make the enemy chase after him.

Team Power:
Little Kingpin- Once per game Xenobi can execute a friendly minion to better motivate it's associates. All minions with line of sight to the executed model receive a +1 to all opposed rolls until the end of the turn. Though I haven't really used this power all that often synergies of Xenobi, Gentleman and Tangent's "Analyze" power come to mind if you run quite a few minions +3 to the roll is nothing to scoff at.

Well, I got my rat ogre...

Cash Johnson with a double Blood Bowl report once more. It was a good day for the sport all around - we may have converted two more people to play the game, plus had two boards running at once in the store, which for a non-paying league is pretty impressive in this day and age. Plus the order was put in for my official Blood Bowl Minotaur so I can stop using the oversized Beastmen variant (sans arms) who has been dubbed "Buns of Tin" due to his posterior. But, I digress...

The first game was Clan Xymox against Drew's custom-sculpted Chaos Dwarves, who I must say were incredibly well made - he green-stuffed the crazy beards, used push pins for their crazy gourd-shaped helmets, and even went so far as to kitbash two Bull Centaurs from Marauder horses and Orks, with another generous helping of green stuff (he'd better post images of them on his own blog though, since I only go so far when kissing ass). At any rate, it was expected to be a high injury game on my part, seeing as how getting hit by Dwarves of any sort is not what I want to happen.

What followed, however, was an intense and tactical matchup of speed against staying power, both sides running the clock due to an inability to break armour on either side. Drew scored the first half, I scored the second, and the casualty pile was simply #7 missing next game with a Niggling Injury (one more and he's scrapped) and one dead Lineman (Blag Warptail II), who was immediately chopped up and used to add the finishing touches on my latest addition to Clan Xymox - my #13 Rat Ogre, Jonathan Brisby (bonus points to anyone who gets the ironic reference). With the record at 3 wins, 3 losses and my first draw, the team is taking a little longer than I would have liked to develop. Perhaps next season I will just start with Jonathan on the team and keep it at an even 11 players (instead of the spare Lineman at 12).

The Reikland Wrath suffered their first loss today against Jon's Khemri team, but this was due to spectacularly poor rolls at critical moments. Goretusk failed me for the first time today, failing his Wild Animals rolls on several occasions to lay down and take a nap for 3/4 of the game (though he caused his 5th casualty before doing so). Abrax the Twisted was concussed in the first half and still managed to get the MVP for the day, as his braining was the most action my team managed to perform. All three of my Warriors kept rolling Attacker and Both Down results, forcing me to use re-rolls I would have preferred to save for better moments. By the end of the 2-0 loss, the only positive result was Abrax's second MVP got him Foul Appearance, so at least opponents may think twice before touching him in the future. On the positive side, I still got 40,000 gold for the day, and spent it on 2 Assistant Coaches and 2 Cheerleaders, leaving me with another 100,000 in the Treasury in case I decide a fourth Warrior would do me well.

In all, these days are expected to happen every now and again. On the positive side, I did manage to get a double Sideline in the first game, knocking a Bull Centaur into the crowd, followed by a Cave Slave (Drew uses human prisoners instead of Hobgoblins), both by Bulk Irontail in two consecutive turns. I look forward to seeing how Jonathan Brisby works out, and whether or not I can ever get more experience on my three Warriors. Maybe next week, I tell myself...

- Cash