Tag: Games Workshop

Hey there everybody!

Man, it’s been a while. Hard to believe it is already June. The year truly has flown by.

I figured I would throw together a post to give a bit of an update on where we are at and where we are going.

Bad news is that there has been such a long break. Ultimately, I have had a ton of things going on with work and the personal life and for lack of a better term motivational issues have limited production on the various projects I’m working on with this blog.

The good news? I plan for that to end right now! So here is the plan for the various aspects of this site so you all have an idea.

Long Distance Drinking: Will continue on as it has been going. This really has been the only thing that hasn’t dragged to a halt. The goal is to get it to release on a more regular, every-other-week schedule, preferrably on Tuesdays. We have a few ideas that we are going to be messing around with on the cast, so as always, let us know what you think!

GOON Gamecast: It has been a long while for this hasn’t it… Well, Game On Oblivous Noobs, because we are getting back in action this month. We have one veeeerrrrrryyyy old episode that has our in-depth review of Rogue Legacy. The goal for that is for it to be live in the next week and a half (aiming for June 7). At that point, GOON as you knew it will be complete…

The New GOON Gamecast: Given the long wait between episodes, we wanted to get things moving with the podcast and have revamped it a bit. We are aiming less for the marathon sessions of some of the previous episodes and settling in on approximately 1 to 1.5 hour episodes with a bit more of a traditional set of segments. The goal is to also hit a every-other-week schedule for releases, either on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We’re aiming for Episode 1 to be out shortly after the Rogue Legacy episode (it is already recorded, just need to get the beast out of the way). It will still include Tom, Lance and myself, so no worries there. Just a streamlined focus to the shows from our initial aims.

Videogame Posts: One of the biggest struggles I have had was finding a structure for how to write about the various games I’m playing. Coupling this with my huge gaming back-log, I ended up coming up with an idea. My focus each month will be playing through games on my back-log, focusing on working through games of the same series each month. So, starting with June, I am playing through the Borderlands series. So, there will be at least one post a week (aiming for two) that will be relating specifically to the things I am seeing in games from that series. Aside from that, there will also be posts of other random things I am playing too if I get a good idea.

Tabletop Game Posts: There has been a lot happening with Tabletop gaming recently… My goal is to put up a post a week about a topic that strikes me on those. I am aiming for Wednesdays or Thursdays with these posts. Plan on the next few to be about the Warhammer Fantasy new edition on its way and my thoughts or speculation about it. I am also hoping sometime in the future to do some video content of various tabletop gaming topics and those will be shared here as well.

Movie and TV Show Posts: These will probably be a bit fewer and further between. Similar to before, I am planning on throwing out my instant opinions if a movie really strikes me. Then, I will see what other topics or ideas I find interesting with that and write about it about once a month.

June may be a bit of a struggle, but I’m really hoping to get more stuff written and out there. There will be some rough edges on the posts, but if I’m going to be looking at getting a quantity of things posted, there will be a few errors here or there. Similar to terrorism, if you see something, say something and I’ll fix it.

Also, if there are any ideas you want me to weigh in on, just throw it out there. I am also sure Tom will be throwing some posts up from time-to-time as well to get things out there.

So, I hope I can get more stuff out there moving forward and utilize this space much more effectively. There are a lot of things I know that I want to do past what we are talking about, but this is the baby steps to get in that direction.

Joe Burns “Hobby Box” Burns

Round 1 of the Masters is in the books. All in all, there were quite a few close matches. Five people ended up winning by 20-0: Jake Martin (NE) with Empire, Josh Stuart (WC) with Dark Elves, Larry Mottola (NE) with Vampire Counts, Ira Knight (MA) with Warriors of Chaos and Fred Whitney (WC) with Daemons of Chaos).

Apparently, Alex Davy ended up not being able to make it and was replaced by Grant Fetter in the last week (and I just didn’t put two-and-two together).

Here is where those we are following are at after Round 1.

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Kevin had a close win against Brian Brown’s Warriors of Chaos 12-8. The victory places him in roughly 20th on battle points.

Round 2 Opponent: Matt Beasley from the Mid-Atlantic with Dark Elves. Beasley won game one 12-8 against Jeremy Campbell (WC) and his Ogres.
Matt’s Dark Elves consist of a Dreadlord kitted up on a Black Dragon, with a Master on a Pegasus and a Master on a Dark Steed. He has three units of five Dark Riders, three Repeater Bolt Throwers, six Knights, 12 Warlocks, 11 Witch Elves and five Shades.

Comp Difference: Kevin’s 6.2 against Matt’s 10.5 means that Kevin is giving up 430 points to Matt. This will make it difficult for a huge victory for Kevin, but if things go right, he could still pull out a relatively close win.

Keys to Round 2: Interestingly, these two are running quite similar lists. Matt will have a bit of advantage with ground troops, but with Kevin’s fast flying, cavalry and chariot options, he should still be able to dictate what goes in where. A main focus in the Magic Phase will probably be trying to get the big magic missle off on the Dragon or Pegasus rider. The fact that both of these armies have hatred for each other should lead to some bloody battles.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Robert Brandon ended up losing to Travis Weyforth’s Lizardmen 14-6. From watching this game on the live stream, Robert looked to have an advantage early, but Travis was able to get enough wounds from shooting to deter enough of Robert’s attack force so that in the war of attrition, his units held off the attacks of the Elves.

Round 2 Opponent: Jeremy Campbell (WC) and his Ogre Kingdoms army. Jeremy had a close 12-8 loss to Matt Beasley’s Dark Elves (described above).
Jeremy is running an MSU approach, with two single Sabertusks,  an Ironblaster, two units of two Mournfang Cavalry, two units of three Yhetees, three units of three Ogres, four Leadbelchers, a block of six Ironguts (which will be the gut star to hold his characters most likely). Magic-wise, he has two Level 2 Firebellies (one with the Hellheart), a Bruiser BSB and a Tyrant General.

Comp Difference: Jeremy comes into the game with a 10 for comp score, meaning that Robert will have 410 point advantage starting the game.

Keys to Round 2: Robert will not be able to do much in close combat. He will most likely want to attempt to get his Skycutter Chariots in a good area to be able to shoot at the multiple-wound Ogres to attempt to peel off as many models as possible. His small units of Silver Helms will only end up being speed bumps for the Ogres, so he will have to attempt to get a couple of units into the chaff in order to take as many points as possible. But, even with the extra points, it looks to be an uphill battle for him against the Ogres.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Jason ended up taking a 14-6 loss against Ivan Jen and his Dwarfs.

Round 2 Opponent: Don Gilliland (WC) and his Orcs & Goblins. Don’s army has a ton of models. He has three blocks of  Goblins (one 45 and two at 22), a unit of 32 Night Goblins, two units of a 50 strong Squig herd and a unit of 46 Squig Hoppers. Throw in two Rock Lobbers, two Pumpwagons, and one solitary troll and this could cause some issues.
For characters he has two Orc Shamans and a Black Orc Big Boss and Night Goblin Big Boss.

Comp Difference: Don’s 17 comp score means that having the highest comp score in the tournament only nets Jason a 90 point advantage in Round 2, which isn’t what he was hoping for.

Keys to Round 2: This match-up again can cause some problems for Jason. He is definitely out shot in this one, which means he will have to move his knights into combat as fast as humanly possible. Deployment will end up being key as he will need to set up the proper matchups. Without flying units or anything to seek out the warmachines and other goodies, it looks to be a rough match-up for Jason.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Mark ended up taking a 10-10 draw against Michael Hengl’s Warriors of Chaos

Round 2 Opponent: Todd Wiatt (MA) with Warriors of Chaos. Todd’s is fielding a Slaanesh army, with a Daemon Prince front and center, supported by two Exalted Heroes, one Tzeentch and one Slaanesh. The rest of the army has an MSU approach, with three units of 10 Marauders, two Shaggoths with Great Weapons, two Slaanesh Chariots, and a unit each of 10 Hellstriders and 10 Horsemen.

Comp Difference: Mark has a 130 point advantage, with a 12.3 to 11 comp score with Todd.

Keys to Round 2: As last time, Mark could struggle against the high strength of the chaos army. The good thing is he has steadfast over many of the units. Again, the Doomwheel and Abomination could be key to a victory in this one. I think Mark could have the advantage in this match-up.

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Alex ended up getting a bit win against Mikey G’s Warriors of Chaos 17-3.

Round 2 Opponent: Justin Balusik with Bretonnians, coming off of an 18-2 victory against Ben Mitchell and his High Elves.

Comp Difference: Justin’s 11.3 means he will have an 80 point advantage against Alex.

Keys to Round 2: The first focus will be having the Repeater Bolt Throwers take out Justin’s two Trebs. Alex could possibly use the two units of 5 Harpies to tie up the Pegasus Knights and Characters. All-in-all, I feel this is a favorable matchup, with four RBTs able to take out a good amount of models if they hit well. Plus, the extra mounted characters could be used to his advantage as well.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Round 1 Opponent and Result: As mentioned before, Mike took a 17-3 loss against Alex Scmid’s Dark Elves.

Round 2 Opponent: Dan Lindley’s (SO) Warriors of Chaos, who lost 15-5 against Justin Burgy’s High Elves. Dan’s army is nearly a mirror image of Mike’s. Both have a Tzeentch Lord on a disc, with Exalted Hero BSBs, the same amount of warhounds and Skullcrushers and a Shaggoth. Both have two chariots, though Dan’s are Khorne. Dan has an extra unit of Hellstriders and a unit of six Knights instead of the War Shrine.

Comp Difference: Dan’s 11.2 score means that Mike will start at a 140 point disadvantage per the comp.

Keys to Round 2: As in any mirror match, it will really come down to who is able to come up with the best strategy. Limiting mistakes and executing the game plan becomes key in this one.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Kris lost to Chin Pann 14-6 in game one. That means, the game was more of a draw until comp figured into the scoring.

Round 2 Opponent: Brian Brown (WC) and his Warriors of Chaos. His army features a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince with a Nurgle Exalted Hero and 18 Nurgle warriors, buffeted by six trolls and nine Dragon Ogres. He does have some speed with two Slaaneshi Chariots and a Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot as well.

Comp Difference: Brian comes in with a 6.6 comp score, meaning Kris will need to overcome a 630 point difference in order to pull a draw.

Keys to Round 2: With the comp differential being as high as it is, Kris will need to be as aggressive as possible to get the game to a win. I think the Nurgle Daemon Prince takes out the Slaaneshi Daemon Prince in a head to head matchup. Kris will want to get his chariots into as much of the Ogres and Trolls as possible to clean them out.

Round 2 is well underway now. Remember, follow Table 1 all weekend on the Twitch feed for Atomic Empire. Otherwise, we’ll check back with you at the beginning of Round 3, at approximately 4:30 Central.

You can follow the pairings and results here.

After looking through the different players and lists that are participating at the Masters this weekend, I decided to go through and spotlight a few fellas that I am planning on following through the first three games of the tournament.

As results are released tomorrow, I plan on re-evaluating the scoring and whatever information I can find to discuss and highlight their next match-ups through the day. So, here are a dozen of the fifty players I am going to watch for in tomorrow’s action and why I’m interested.

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Why I’m interested: Seeing as how I hail from Minnesota (though I live in Texas now), I am definitely interested in following all of these guys.
Other than that, Kevin’s list is fast and tough. His only infantry block are 20 White Lions. But, he has some fast combat with the 6 Dragon Princes (with Noble most likely), 10 Silver Helms, a Frostheart Phoenix, a Tiranoc Chariot, two units of five Reavers, and two Eagles, all backed up by three Repeater Bolt Throwers. He will be able to pick his battles and chaff up his opponents, while striking at the big stuff with his warmachines. And don’t forget the Magic phase, with his High Magic Archmage level 4 with the Book of Hoeth and a Level 2 High Mage.

Who he’s playing Round 1: Brian Brown from the West Coast with Warriors of Chaos. His army features a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince with a Nurgle Exalted Hero and 18 Nurgle warriors, buffeted by six trolls and nine Dragon Ogres. He does have some speed with two Slaaneshi Chariots and a Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot as well.

Keys for Round 1: To succeed, Kevin will need to hit the Daemon Prince hard and fast if possible. Unfortunately, High Elves might not be tough enough to sustain the heavy strength the majority of Brian’s army is bringing. Another key for Kevin will be getting chaff in the way and calling his combats from the start to pull off the victory.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Why I’m Interested: Robert’s High Elf list is on the other end of the spectrum from Kevin. In fact, with as much flying as Kevin’s army has, Robert has him beat.  Robert is fielding an Annointed on a Frostheart Phoenix and two Flamespire Phoenixes, three Skycutter Chariots with bolt throwers in the air. It will be really interesting to see how effective all of these flying units will be.
Mounted he has three units of five Silver Helms and two units of Elyrian Reavers. These units will include a kitted-out Noble with BSB and two Level 2 Mages, one on Metal and one on Death, which will help to snipe and take out armor (covering for two weaknesses within the army).

Who he’s playing Round 1: Travis Weyforth from the Northeast and his Lizardmen.  The large amount of skinks in this army – two units of 30 and four units of 10 (two with blowpipes) – is in direct contrast with Robert’s list. Throw in 23 Temple Guard, and it might be difficult to deal with all of the infantry units on the board. Plus, don’t forget the Slann BSB with Heavens and Skink Priest on Heavens, which will add to the combat ability of the Lizards. The Solar Engine on the Bastilidon could also cause some worries in close combat.

Keys for Round 1: The number of models aren’t in Robert’s favor. However, with the amount of mobility he has, he should be able to play avoidance and pick his combats decently, while sniping away with Death magic. Chain Lightning could be especially devastating against Robert’s MSU approach.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Why I’m Interested: First off, I am surprised anyone brought Bretonnians (and Jason isn’t the only one either). But more so, I can’t wait to see how his gamble of taking the highest comp value will affect his placing.
Otherwise, he’ll be rocking out the lance formation with two units of nine Knights of the Realm, and one each of Questing Knights, Grail Knights and Knights Errant. 39 Men at Arms will be there for infantry support, while his magic consists of a Level 2 on Beasts and Level 2 on Life. Two units of 10 Peasant Bowmen are all he has for the shooting phase.

Who he’s playing Round 1: Ivan Jen of the West Coast region with Dwarfs. Four bolt throwers, 35 Quarrelers and an Organ Gun supported by two Master Engineers will dominate the shooting phase for the Dwarfs. A Runesmith with the Anvil of Doom will lead the 13 Hammerers, six Miners and 23 Warriors.

Keys for Round 1: I think the largest key will be to survive the first two turns. A lot of ammo will be pumped his way after he prays with his army, so making it through the beginning of the game will be tricky, especially in the second round when he is much closer to those war machines. Once he gets there, I think he could do some damage quickly with multiple charges.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Why I’m Interested: Having just started collecting a Skaven army, I am super interested in the little backstabbers. Also, Mark has to have the largest amount of models on the table of all players. With all of those models, he chose to ignore the shooting phase almost completely, focusing instead on solid sized blocks of infantry units: three units of Skavenslaves (two 45s and a 40), two units of Clanrats (38 and 36), 38 Plague Monks, 29 Giant Rats.
These are led by a Chieftan BSB and two Warlords, one on a warlitter and fully kitted out, with the other brandishing the Fellblade (which is always fun and unpredictable).
He does have the Hell Pit Abomination and a Doomwheel in there for a good dose of some random movement.

Who he’s playing Round 1: The West Coast’s Michael Hengl with his Tzeentch-focused Warriors of Chaos. Mike has a fully loaded Lord of Tzeentch and Tzeentch Exalted forging the way for his army. His main combat blocks consist of 14 Nurgle Warriors and 12 Tzeentch Chosen with a War Shrine.
Add in two Slaaneshi Chariots, two units of five Slaaneshi Marauder Horsemen and two units of Chaos Warhounds adds in a solid amount of chaff. Two Level Two Sorcerers – one Nurgle, one Tzeentch – rounds out the list.

Keys for Round 1: The most important thing Mark will need to do is whittle down the big combat units some before he commits his blocks. Without war machines or more fighty options like Stormvermin, he will need to depend upon the Plague Monks to lead the charge. His random movers will most likely get chaffed to hell in this game, but if he gets them through, that would be very advantageous. Plus, also, not allowing the Warlord with the Fellblade to kill himself would be key for sure.

Player: Alex Davy
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Empire
Comp Score: 12.7 (I think)

Why I’m Interested: Alex’s Empire Army really appeals to me. It is similar to the Empire List I have experimented with recently. The 30 Flagellents and 29 Greatswords could be an extremely solid one-two punch, especially if they are buffed a bit by the Level 3 Beast Wizard and followed closely by the Celestial Hurricanum.
The Arch Lector with the Speculum is always good at fighting other characters in challenges. Also, the Helblaster Volley Gun can be devastating in most match-ups.

Who he’s playing Round 1: Jarrett Messing from the Northeast Region with Bretonnians. Unlike Jason’s Bret list, Jarrett has all the toys you usually see: multiple Paladins (on Pegasus and Horse), a block of Pegasus Knights, and a couple of Trebuchets for extra measure. A Level 4 on Heavens also adds a bit of fire power and some boosts to combat strength.

Keys for Round 1: For the Empire, this is actually a fairly rough Bretonnian list. Neutralizing the Trebs early will be a good first step, as those will tear apart his low armor units (Flagellants, Crossbowmen, etc). Sitting back and baiting in the Bret player will probably be the best strategy, trying to get in the correct charge range for the Inner Circle Knights  on a key unit while getting everything else within range of the gun line. Without a lot of chaff, Alex will want to keep the battleline close to avoid being torn apart by the multiple flying units and Cav buses.


Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 9.7

Why I’m Interested: This is one of the more interesting Dark Elf lists I have seen out there before. Using five Masters on Cold Ones is pretty interesting. It appears (with all other units being on Dark Steeds) that these guys will travel individually. I would be interested to see how this format would play out on the table against different Match-ups.
He also has a Dreadlord and Level 4 Beasts Sorceress on Dark Steeds, which will garrison either in his unit of 15 Dark Riders or 5 Dark Riders. For some extra infantry punch, he has thrown in 18 Witch Elves, with the Banner of Eternal Flame, and 10 Warlocks. Two chaff units of five Harpies are also in there, along with four Repeater Bolt Throwers.

Who he’s playing Round 1: The next guy on my list…

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.7

Why I’m Interested: Mikey G will be representing the great state of Minnesota as one of its most decorated players. He is using a solid and mobile Tzeentch and Slaanesh list, including a Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord and two Tzeentch Exalted Heroes, each kitted out with the nasty things you usually see on these guys.
He then includes two units of Marauder Horsemen with Mark of Slaanesh, flails, javelins and shields and then two Slaaneshi Chaos Chariots and a War Shrine with Mark of Tzeentch.  Five Hellstriders, Four Skullcrushers and Shaggoth round out the heavy hitting part of the list with a two units of Warhounds for chaff.

Who he’s playing Round 1: Alex Schmid

Keys for Round 1: For Alex, the main thing will be finding tricks to deal with the high strength coming at him quickly. He will want to team up pieces of chaff with the different pieces of punch for flank or supporting charges.

For Mike, being aggressive will be the order of the day most likely. Tzeentch magic should have more of an impact on the game than the beasts in my opinion, so utilizing that to add to his advantage will be important as well.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3 (The lowest comp score in the Tourney)

Why I’m Interested: Kris is the only guy in the Tourney I’ve actually played (Granted, it was a 500 point Tournament, but stil…)! That, and he is rocking the toughest list by comp score in the entire Tourney. His Nurgle Daemon Prince is all the filth these days. Four Chariots (three Nurgle and one Slaanesh), two units of Skullcrushers and nine Trolls also help to up the filth factor.
It will be really interesting to see if the army will be able to crush hard enough to overcome the amount of points he gives up per game for the comp. It is possible, but big wins needed all around.

Who he’s playing Round 1: The man with the second highest comp score, a 4.8 Vampire Counts army generaled by Chin Pann from the Mid-Atlantic. The army is led by a Vampire Count pumped up to the nines, supported by two Vampires. The core blocks include six small units of Skeletons and a unit of 45 Zombies. Two Terrorghests, four Vargheists 10 Black Knights and a Spirit Host will round out the list.

Keys for Round 1: For Kris, avoiding getting caught up in too much chaff and trying to pummel the Vampire Lord would be the name of the game in this one. Aside from that, these are two typs of armies I don’t have much experience with, so I’ll leave it at that!

Well, there are plenty of other interesting things, but these are the few I will be watching for to see how they end up by the end of the first day. If you are interested in viewing all of the lists, you can find them via this thread on Wargamersusas.com.

Let me know in the comments what you are interested in and excited for out of day one. Also, remember, you can follow Table One all weekend via Atomic Empires’ Twitch Channel.

Welcome to our first Toss-Up Thursday! Today is going to seem a lot like Warhammer Wednesday, as we take a look at the inaugural United States Warhammer Fantasy Masters!

U.S. Warhammer Fantasy Masters Preview

Over the past few years, many countries that have large Warhammer playing populations have been hosting a tournament each year for the best-of-the-best to determine who is the overall master player of their country.  The United Kingdom – the birthplace of all things Warhammer – has had a masters tournament featuring the top 16 players for the past six or seven years.

But, with the geographical size of the United States and the vastly differing play styles, tournament composition systems and overall “meta” games in the various regions of the country, trying to create “one tournament to rule them all” seemed to be an impossibility.

Enter Jerry Parsley, who decided to take on the task to organize a tournament that would gain participation players around the country. Parsley has organized tournaments in the Southeast for years, but undoubtedly this has been his most difficult task so far.

And the Masters will take place, this weekend in Durham, North Carolina at Atomic Empire.

What Parsley did, to organize what couldn’t be organized, was to separate the country into different regions based upon play styles and groupings of tournaments. The original configuration created five different regions: the Northeast, who play a more heavily comped version of the game; the West Coast, which seems to have a bit more wide open version of the game; the Midwest, which mostly forgoes comp completely and places a heavier importance  on painting and sportsmanship; the South/Texas; and his home region of the Southeast.

Each of these five regions has a region organizer, who was chosen because of his stature within the gaming community of the region. It was left to each region to determine how they were going to select their top 10 players who would qualify for the national tournament.

And the criteria varied – the Midwest chose to select the top finishers in the largest five Grand Tournaments (GTs) in the region; the South hand-picked the players thought they would best represent the game in the region; the West Coast gave bids to the champions of each major GTs and then held a qualifier tournament of the other top finishers to choose their contingent.

The comp pack being used for the tournament is a slightly modified version of the Swedish Comp pack. With the Swedish comp pack, each unit is given a point value as well as specific combinations of characters and units. These points are all figured together to give the army a comp score between 0 and 20. Everyone starts at a score of 20 and loses points depending upon which units are selected.

For example, a unit of three Demigryph Knights costs say two points. So, if you take two of them, that makes a score of four points. If a couple of Light Wizards are taken, that may be four more points. Eventually, all of these points subtracted from 20 give the score.

How does this affect a matchup between two players? This is my understanding of it (I may be missing a piece, but I don’t think so). For the difference in points between the two players, the higher scored player receives a victory points buffer.

So, if a Orcs and Goblins army with a score of 14 faces an Empire army of 10, the O&G player will have a 400 point buffer in the game. This means that If at the end of the game, the Empire player wins the game by 200 points, the O&G player will actually win the game by 200 points.

The maximum differential in points that can be applied to the final score is 800 points. So, even if a Bretonnian player with a 16.8 faces off against a Warriors of Chaos player at a 3.4, the cushion can only be 800 points at the end of the game.

In the first round of the tournament, the players are matched together via their comp scores, so there shouldn’t be too much of a difference to start with. Also, no player can play another player of the same region in the first two rounds. But, as the tournament continues, the region exclusivity is thrown out the window and there can be some larger comp differentials.

At the end of the tournament, the best overall award will be given to the Overall Master based upon battle points alone (no painting scores included). Other awards will go to the best painted as well as the best region of the five, based upon the scores of the top five players in each region.

Parsley, along with Warhammer You Tube mainstay Once Bitten, hosted a series of four videos discussing the lists for all 50 of the competitors and also made their picks for who would win the different match-ups in the first round of play. You can check out this and tons of other Warhammer content on his You Tube Channel. Otherwise, the four videos are embedded at the bottom of this post.

For more information on everything about the Masters as well as discussion surrounding the event and links to the live stream of the top table all weekend, head on over to the Wargamers USA website to check it all out.

Stop back here this weekend to get some more insight and to follow the U.S. Masters! The goal is to be able to link to if not Imbed the video of the live stream of the top table all weekend along with other coverage.

Episode 1 – Masters Preview

Episode 2 – Masters Preview

Episode 3 – Masters Preview

Episode 4 – Masters Preview

Welcome back to Warhammer Wednesday! Last week, we discussed the new monthly magazine from Games Workshop entitled Warhammer: Visions. If you remember, it only received a 2-out-of-7 rating, mostly because it didn’t seem to accomplish what it set out to do for various reasons.

This week, we look at the newly streamlined and redesigned White Dwarf, which has replaced the previous monthly version. Is it better than the new monthly mag? Has it improved on what the former White Dwarf did, or is it lacking in its ability to deliver the content readers need?

White Dwarf Weekly

White Dwarf Issue #1

With the first three issues of Weekly White Dwarf in the hands of hobbyists everywhere, it is apparent that Games Workshop’s main goal with the redesign is to focus on the new releases, how they change the game, and how to include that into your gameplay.

And for the most part, the White Dwarf editorial team succeeds brilliantly in producing interesting content in a nice, short burst of information.

Similar to the previous edition of White Dwarf, each issue of the weekly magazine focuses on the new releases for the week, with two pages devoted to each new unit/character model being put out in a given week.

One benefit of the new format is that they have added a couple more photos showcasing the details in the design on the models. White Dwarf used to do this, but a few more images helps to show even more of the painstaking detail being put into the models by the GW designers.

Dwarf Gyrobomber White Dwarf Detail Shots
Details on the Gyrobomber

Ultimately, this section still remains a glorified catalog/advertisement for their new toys, but, GW is a toy company and White Dwarf has always been their avenue to show off what new toys they have for sale.

Similar to the previous White Dwarf, the new releases round up with two-to-four pages outlining new Black Library books, digital releases (like the new Battlescrolls and Dataslates) and other related GW properties that are seeing new content this week. This content, as before, will appeal to you only if you are interested in the subject matter (if you love the Horus Heresy series, then you will like to see what new 30K books are out).

The middle of each issue contains a focus article for that week. These articles have varied in the first three issues. The first issue focused on Tyranids and what unit types are most useful in the new army book from a few of the GW editorial team members as well as a couple of the games designers themselves. This helped to add some fodder for 40K fans out there, as the other two issues were completely fantasy focused. I found that this article gave some interesting insights from the “experts” about what they think will work best in the army. I hope that in the future, they continue to include more articles which focus on the strategy and concepts of the game and philosophies surrounding that.

Issue #2 included the regular summary of the newly released army book of the Dwarfs from the games designer for the Dwarfs, Jeremy Vetock. This article is the same as those  that appeared previously in White Dwarf with new army book releases and I believe it is interesting to see some of the thought process that went into the creation of the book and the “fluff”/ back story included within.

The third issue included a battle report featuring the newly redesigned Dwarfs against their much hated Skaven. This article was the biggest letdown for me in the redesign. My favorite part of the previous White Dwarfs as of late has been the battle reports. They did a phenomenal job of outlining each list and why the player went in the direction they did. Then, they split the game into three parts and described the pivotal moments of each portion while including images that diagrammed the strategy within. It was brilliant.

The good ol’ battle report

Unfortunately, the new battle report was a huge step backwards. Instead of at least a page each to discuss the two players’ lists, it is crammed into a sidebar and listed out without much explanation.

But, the biggest let down is the description of the action itself. Instead of focusing on the strategy of the game, as the previous battle reports had, the report focuses instead upon the story of the battle. And while I will say, I do enjoy that part being peppered in, I would also like to be able to follow the game more closely, instead of through vague descriptions written like a poor action story.

As you can see, it is hard to tell if this was even a real battle (plus, the army lists are almost an after thought).
As you can see, it is hard to tell if this was even a real battle (plus, the army lists are almost an after thought).

Even the images are focused in on small pieces of the action, instead of showing a wide sweeping shot of the battlefield, which lost all aspect of there even having been a game played. Which is unfortunate. It is never good to make a great thing worse and that is what the editorial team did here. I would rather they took out the next four pages – which included adding a model to the hall of fame and how the dwarf army was themed – and instead added more to fleshing out the battle report.

While the battle report left much to be desired, I do have to say I enjoy the flow of the rest of the magazine. Monthly columns are included each week from different GW staff members, including Jeremy Vetock, Phil Kelly and everyone’s favorite, Jervis Johnson. These are usually pretty interesting material as they were in the old magazine and usually discuss the hobby as a whole (though Kelly’s was much more focused on Tyranids). These opinion pieces from people “inside the dungeon” are always interesting.

“Paint Splatter” also makes its triumphant return, going through and showing some paint schemes to use on the new models. A new segment, called “Sprues and Glue” focuses on the model building portion of the hobby. Ultimately, these two sections will probably be fly-over country for the more experiences hobbyists, but these two sections include some important information for players that are new to the game, which are very helpful indeed.

Ultimately, my favorite addition to the new magazine is “The Rules” section, which lays out the stat line and special rules and equipment for a new unit or model. I find this to be a very welcome addition as it helps to explain a bit how these new units function. Now, this may be interesting for people playing the army, but it ends up being of more importance for players of other armies. Many people don’t have the ability to buy every army book that comes out. This allows other players to understand how the new units work and how they might affect the meta game.

The Rules of the new Dwarf Irondrakes
The Rules of the new Dwarf Irondrakes

Another interestingly redesigned piece is the “This Week in White Dwarf” section, which delves into a potpourri of different items, from back story and supplemental information about armies (in these issues, mostly Dwarfs) to showcasing a reader’s model of the week. The latter part is especially cool as readers can submit their models to be ogled and envied  (or critiqued) by all other hobbyists. My personal favorite so far is the Forge World Warrior Priest model painted by Graham Shirley.

A Forge World Warrior Priest by Graham Shirley (from White Dwarf #3)
A Forge World Warrior Priest by Graham Shirley (from White Dwarf #3)

Overall, I have to say I enjoy the redesign quite a bit. The shortened version is more focused and to the point compared to the sprawling previous iteration of the magazine. The benefit of releasing weekly is it continues to build interest throughout the month at GW and other hobby stores. Also, it keeps a consistent flow of new product to stores, which spreads sales out throughout the month, instead of concentrated on the week a codex is released.

One negative is that with a $4 price point, to purchase every issue each month is a $16 investment in the magazine, up from the $10 investment of the previous edition. Some may view this as another grab for extra cash. And, it is a valid question as to whether these collective issues add $6 of value over the existing version.

Another negative is some issues of the magazine, if they are focused on a game system that a player is not interested in, really aren’t worth the asking price. If GW hopes to get a majority of folks to purchase each issue, they will want to try to balance the content a bit more. Also, as of yet, a subscription is not available for the weekly magazine, which makes it difficult for those who live a significant distance away from a games store to keep up with the game as much as they could before.

With all of that said, I do say that it is an interesting read. The shorter, focused issues are enjoyable from cover to cover for the most part. I just hope that in this feeling out period, the editorial team continues to tweak pieces of it, hopefully striking a better balance between the game systems covered and fleshing out the format of  some of the weaker sections of the magazine – such as the battle report – in order to make it a better product.

Rating: 5 out of 7 – Good

What are your thoughts? Is there anything else you would like to see changed in the new look White Dwarf? Let me know what you think of the new magazine in the comments below.

Next for Warhammer Coverage: Tomorrow on Toss-up Thursday, we take a look at this coming weekend’s Warhammer Fantasy U.S. Masters Tournament: what to expect, where to get more information and how to follow the action!

As mentioned in our post at the beginning of the week, we have a new format on the blog. And that means today is our first Warhammer Wednesday!

Crazily, this first post coincides with the newly redesigned publications released at the start of February 2014 by Games Workshop (GW) for their line of games. So, we figured, what better way to kick off Warhammer Wednesday than by reviewing these new publications, the weekly and concise White Dwarf and the monthly and lengthy Warhammer: Visions.

As we all know, the old White Dwarf was a hodge-podge of hobby showcase, new release catalog/hype/hard sell, opinions and pretty pictures of models. In hindsight, it really was quite a mess. The issues would start with new releases, then chuck in a battle report, next throw some picture of models, do a focus on a hobby-aspect (usually how to paint some of the new models with GW paints) and then more pretty pictures of other people’s models, with some opinion columns on wide-ranging topics thrown in for good measure.

It really was a bit of a mish-mash.

So, splitting the information into two different publications seems like a good idea, allowing the editorial team at GW to focus their publications to the task(s) at hand. And for the hobbyists out there, it is a solid idea – because they can now disregard anything and everything that doesn’t focus on the game systems they play. Though, I’m not entirely certain that was GW’s goal.

Warhammer: Visions

Courtesy Games Workshop

As mentioned previously, Visions is the now monthly, 228 page multi-lingual picture book.

Now, you may think that previous statement is a gross-generalization, but I promise you, it is not. This magazine has no written articles themselves. Each page is a picture, multiple pictures, or portions of one picture with caption overlays in English, French and German included. The minimalist approach definitely takes some getting used to, and not just for the reader. I think the editorial team is still feeling out the best way to manage the content in this format.

This is a big publication, so it will be best to break this down, old-west style, highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Increased Focus on the Detail of the Models
With the extra space in this format, GW has the ability to go into more detail on different models. This is most apparent in the Parade Ground section, where multiple images (sometime up to five) are used on one Golden Daemon winner to really focus on the quality job done by the creator of the model. This is also apparent in the Army of the Month, where more pages are now given to displaying the magnificent work done by the Army’s general.

photo 1 (1)

The Idea of a Cinematic Battle Report
Battle reports are a staple of White Dwarf. In fact, it may be my favorite portion of the old monthly magazine. In Visions, they decided to create a more cinematic battle report. Instead of focusing on strategies and the rules surrounding what is happening on the table, they instead followed a game and took dramatic images of the action, utilizing the captions to describe the story of the Chaos Space Marines battling the Grey Knights and Eldar in a Warhammer 40,000 (40K) showdown.

photo 2 (1)

It is an interesting concept, however I think they may want to tweak it some to include more of the game in the captions. For instance, I couldn’t really tell it was an actual game until the final page, when it declared the Chaos Space Marines the winner and showed one of the GW staff members in a series of photos pumping his fists in victory. It was rather confusing, but I do enjoy the concept.

The Bad

Imbalanced Representation of Game Systems
I play Warhammer Fantasy. I know some of 40K, but am not entirely interested in coverage of it since I do not play it. My guess is one of the biggest problems that GW had with the old White Dwarf is that when a specific game system had a new release, the other game systems would only get a passing mention in the magazine, with only a few pages of coverage that month.

When I first heard the announcement about Visions, I thought the main focus of having a magazine that wasn’t beholden to the game systems’ release schedules was to allow it to show a broad representation of all of their properties. Unfortunately, with this first issue, I was sorely wrong.

With the January new release of Tyranids for 40K, it ended up monopolizing the entire magazine. In fact, 40% of the magazine was devoted to Tyranids alone (91 pages to be exact) and 40K made up 56% of the magazine (129 pages). Now, 56% seems like a reasonable percentage. But, take into account that there was only one, 14 page article devoted to Warhammer Fantasy (6% of the magazine), it creates a very large imbalance for people who have specific interests in GW’s product ranges. And, it leads to those that were “slighted” to feel like they wasted their $12 – I know I felt that way.

Multi-lingual Captions Over-complicate the Pages
Warhammer: Visions - Tyranids in three languages
I can completely understand the reason why GW went in the direction they did with making the magazine multi-lingual – it allows them to put out fewer versions of the same magazine to save costs. And while this gives me an opportunity to start to learn a bit of French and German (did you know Tomb Prince in French is Prince des Tombes), at some points, the words tend to over-complicate the page and take away from the images. Granted, this is probably the most nit-picky of criticisms, but that is what I felt while reading through the magazine. Over time, I believe it will be easy to get used to this.

The Ugly

Background Graphics on Pages
One piece I did like was the 52 pages devoted to the models (and hobbyists) that earned Golden Daemon Awards at Games Day in Memphis, TN last fall. However, for some reason, it was determined by the graphics designers that the models themselves were not interesting enough and instead of having a solid background, they included a set of blue background images behind the models.

Warhammer: Visions - Dirty Background Images

Now, it is possible that this looked fantastic on a computer screen. But, on the printed page in the magazine, it is just sloppy looking and can affect the way the reader views the models. In my opinion, it really distracts the eye from seeing the details in some of the images and draws the readers attention away from these wonderful creations to blurry background stock images of space marines and battle scenes.

Page Folds and Page Size
The biggest criticism by far that can be made about this magazine comes down to the size of the pages and how that affects the images displayed. For a magazine that was created to showcase the hobby with beautiful images of fantastically painted and created miniatures, I am not sure why it was determined they should make the magazine about 3/4 the size (closed) of the previous and newly designed White Dwarf. Other than more apparent cost savings, I guess I just do not know.

Warhammer: Visions - Smaller Page Size

The size of the pages also leads to some images being ruined by the page fold in the center of the magazine. Having more pages that are smaller makes it that much more difficult to open up the magazine to see the details at the center of the image – which in some cases is the focal point of the picture displayed.

Warhammer: Visions - Page Folds are Terrible

Now, my guess is that these issues are completely nullified on the iPad version, which I have heard has fully zoomable, high contrast images. And it may turn out that format may be the best way to view this content. Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm this hypothesis as I do not have an iPad available to demo. Plus, I am not extremely willing to spend another $12 on this issue.

I had heard Visions marketed as being a focus on the hobby. In my mind (and also how I heard it explained) there were to be more features in this magazine about the process of building, converting and painting GW’s miniatures from their skilled staff. However, other than the few pages of the pre-existing Kit Bash segment and a Tyranids-focused Paint Splatter article, there wasn’t anything else other than a showcase of a job well done. Granted, that can serve as good inspiration for future projects, but it fails to fill this need.

Now, I do need to say, being an entirely new publication, Visions will need some time to find its legs and figure out exactly its purpose in the whole GW publication scheme. Given a few months, I am sure the editorial team will be able to address some of these criticisms. Ultimately at this point, the magazine is unable to fully realize its main focuses and does a poorer job at fulfilling its purpose than similar portions of the old White Dwarf magazine.

With time, Visions could get better. It has potential. Unfortunately, gamers are a very passionate and judgmental bunch and if the overall reception of the publication is poor, it may never be given much of a second chance, especially when it is asking a premium price.

Rating: 2 out of 7 – Terrible

Next Week on Warhammer Wednesday: We take a look at the first three issues of the other publication for Games Workshop, the new weekly White Dwarf.

Spoiler Alert – I enjoy it much more than Visions.

What are your thoughts? Have you read Warhammer: Visions? Tell us what you think in the comments below.