Retiring from Conquest

Hey everybody,
Recently, I’ve been looking over the games that I have, and checking through several of those that I have decks set up for the LCGs I follow, and have decided to retire all of those from Warhammer Conquest. The game died when FFG and GW parted ways, officially at the end of February this year, but the nails were firmly in the coffin back in September when the announcement came. The game was actually pretty popular at my local game store, and I had hopes that I’d still be able to get in some games, including trying out some new decks, but Arkham Horror LCG has definitely supplanted it as the LCG of choice, and I’m left with rather a lot of cards that I’m not really doing all that much with! But then, I’m kinda used to having games like this…

Before I dissolve all of the decks I have set up, however, I wanted to record for posterity here the Necron deck that I built up a year ago when the Necron box first came out, and subsequently tweaked with a couple of the cards from the subsequent Planetfall cycle. It did quite well for me on the couple of trips out I had with it, so I thought it’d be useful to have in case I ever find some fellow hipsters and decide to get back into this down the line!

Anrakyr the Traveller
Pyrrhian Eternals (5)
Slumbering Tomb
Awake the Sleepers
Pyrrhian Warscythe
Harbinger of Eternity
Mandragoran Immortals
Immortal Legion
Warriors of Gidrim
Immortal Vanguard (3)
Doomsday Ark (2)
Praetorian Ancient
Lychguard Sentinel (2)
Hyperphase Sword (2)
Tomb Blade Squad (3)
Canoptek Spyder
Canoptek Scarab Swarm (3)
Hunting Acanthrites
Reanimation Protocol (2)
Drudgery (2)
Defensive Protocols (2)
Sautekh Complex (2)
Defense Battery
Ratling Deadeye
Noise Marine Zealots
Sacaellum Shrine Guard (2)
White Scars Bikers
Kroot Hunter (2)
Sybarite Marksman
Kabalite Halfborn
Saim-Hann Kinsman

There are ten out-of-faction cards included at the end here because of the subtheme Necrons have, that of enslaving other people (not something in the fluff, but whatever). There are soldier units in there for the Mandragoran Immortals to take advantage of, warriors for the Immortal Vanguard, and scouts for the Tomb Blade Squads.

Overall, it was a lot of fun to play the couple of times I got it to the table, though I think it’s quite unfortunate that the game ended with the Necrons such a comparatively under-developed faction. Of course, the enslavement mechanic means you technically have a much bigger card pool than pure-Necron, but even so… it would have been nice to have had another cycle, and see what more we can get out of the pool!

Game stuff! (Mostly Lord of the Rings…)

Hey everybody!
It’s a pretty decent Saturday today, with some interesting things on the horizon to talk about, so let’s get right to it!

Runebound expansions

First of all, Fantasy Flight have announced a further two expansions for the third edition Runebound, also due in the third quarter like those previously announced. Like the previously-announced expansions, we’re getting a pairing of scenario pack and adventure pack, one that gives us a whole new thing to do, and one that just gives more cards to add to the existing stuff. Taken as a foursome, these expansions feel like a single big box expansion should feel, with new scenarios, new heroes, and new stuff that can just be added to the base game for more of the same. By splitting it up, some fans might feel they’re being overcharged, but I like the idea of being able to buy just what you want, something that appeals to me as I try to curb my spending on games somewhat (heresy, I know!)

We’ve also got new expansions for Imperial Assault and Eldritch Horror released this past week, which both look pretty exciting!

Munitorum Armoured Containers

Games Workshop are releasing containers for Warhammer 40k next weekend, and I’m both underwhelmed and intrigued at the same time! They look like possibly the least-exciting kit ever for a tactical miniatures wargame, yet I have such a soft spot for things like this that I can’t help but be intrigued! We’re also getting the Adeptus Mechanicus Enginseer that was released exclusively with a tank a few months back, and the plastic Broodlord that came with the Shield of Baal boxset in 2014. I managed to pick up one of the latter (as well as buying the boxset) so I’m not particularly fussed on those releases…

I did pop into my local GW today, and picked up two of the new Citadel paints – Waystone Green and Skullcrusher Brass. They’ve released four new metallic layer paints that look very much like replacements for current metallics, but with a better coverage or something. I’m not particularly convinced, but I bought the brass to try it out. The snow texture paint Mourn Mountain Snow has disappeared from my local store, which has prompted me to re-evaluate my Necron army. All of those metallic guys have been based in snow, but as they were some of the first models I painted, I’ve noticed that I try to match the earlier, crappier paint jobs whenever I add to the force. However, I’m thinking I may start a smaller force with a completely different look, predominantly with brass rather than silver armour. Stay tuned for that, anyway!

In addition to the metallics, GW have released three technical paints that essentially allow you to paint better gemstones. I find this an interesting prospect, so bought one pot to see what it’s like. I’m actually planning to try it on the second Necron force’s weaponry, which might be exciting!

Returning to Fantasy Flight but staying with Necrons, I managed to get my first game of Conquest with the new faction yesterday, playing against the game store guy’s Tyranid deck. I played him a few weeks back when he’d just built this one, and managed to get my first victory in Conquest for what feels like ever, but didn’t manage quite so well this time around!

The deck used Anrakyr the Traveler as warlord, and I wanted to try out a large number of the Necron cards so only went for ten enslaved allies, focusing on cheap mooks who would do something other than just act as a meat shield. It actually went really well for a while, but my warlord was bloodied and, in the final climactic battle, died instantly to an Ymgarl Genestealer due to its +2 combat rating while the Tyranid warlord was at the same planet – yikes!

It was a really great game though, and I really enjoyed both the challenge of getting the deck built with so many out-of-faction cards, and seeing card versions of the metal warriors that I feel so attached to, having painted up nearly 2000 points of them!

Finally, and sticking with LCGs, I wanted to talk about Lord of the Rings.

It’s a card game that is so very close to my heart, though one that I haven’t played in a very long time, despite continuing to collect the expansions for it. I’ve often called it my favourite game of all time, yet I actually haven’t opened the latest adventure pack, despite having bought it two or three weeks ago. It made me wonder whether the magic has gone now that the game has become so bloated: I haven’t looked at changing my decks for a long time, I haven’t played any of the new quests from Ringmaker or Angmar Awakened, and my attempt to run through the Saga expansions didn’t get further than the very first quest!

I had a game with Hunt for Gollum a month ago, and felt distinctly dispirited by the way that game panned out, so disassembled my deck and put everything away, and that was pretty much that. However, not to be beaten, I have today made it through three quests, and I think there may actually be a return of the original magic…

I played three of the early quests, using my elf deck headed up by Elrond, Legolas, and spirit Glorfindel. First off, I tried my luck with Passage through Mirkwood, which is a quest I think a lot of people ignore, or use merely to test their decks with, but is one I enjoy for its classic feel. I managed to win fairly easily, though those Dol Guldur Orcs did manage to deal a lot of damage to Elrond as my primary quester!

I then tried my hand at The Dead Marshes, another underrated quest in my view! I like this one because of the Escape test mechanic that forces you to quest slowly to ensure you have the willpower to pass the test after the quest phase. However, I managed to draw into the combo I needed really quickly, which put Light of Valinor on Glorfindel, allowing him to quest without raising threat and provide a chunk of willpower to the Escape test, and Arod was on Legolas to ensure the maximum progress could be placed! I also managed to use Elf Stone to bring out Haldir for free, which was great! It was over pretty quickly, with only one resource token on Gollum meaning the final Escape test wasn’t all that climactic!

Finally, I went for The Redhorn Gate. This is one of those quests that I love, yet find so brutal at times that I just want to cry in a corner. Some early bad luck kept discarding my resources, which meant I couldn’t get any momentum at first, but again had a first-turn Light of Valinor on Glorfindel so that I could keep him questing and attacking. I also managed to get Vilya on Elrond, though that card is predominantly in the deck for flavour as I was using him as my prime questing hero. Being able to quest for 10 was a real boon with Caradhras in the staging area until stage 3B, of course, and still having at least six attack power could deal with most threats while a series of cheap allies chump blocked them.

It was really nice to get back into this game, and I sincerely hope that I can start playing it more often in the coming weeks and months. Especially since I’ve finally started to mix up my decks!

I’ve had four decks built up for at least two years now, and haven’t touched them at all. Getting rid of one after Hunt for Gollum last month left me with my dwarfs, my elves, and my Rohan/eagles decks. I’ve swapped out a couple of cards from the elves one now, as there have been quite a few good cards to come out of the last cycle and couple of deluxe expansions, and the dwarf deck has had a very minor tweak. The biggest change, for me, is that I’ve gotten rid of the eagles from my Rohan deck, making it straight Rohan. In all honesty, I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing after stripping all of the eagles out – there are a lot less pure Rohan cards than I was expecting, so I’ve gone for a few Valour events to see what I’ve been missing as a bit of a filler. I may find myself putting the eagles back soon, however, or else swapping Théoden (from tactics to spirit) so that the weight falls into spirit rather than tactics, I guess we’ll see!

Looking through all of the cards really excited me to try building new decks. One of which I’m keen to build is another all-purpose fellowship kind of deck, which may indeed kickstart my efforts to play the Saga expansions once again!

Let’s hope this comes to pass, anyway!

New Games!

Hey everybody,
It seems like a very long time since I’ve really managed to catch up with the new games offerings from Fantasy Flight, but the last few days have seen a couple of things announced that have really gotten me excited for this stuff like I haven’t been in a long time, so let’s take a look!

Runebound expansions

Top of the list for me is this announcement from Wednesday, two new expansions incoming for the third edition of Runebound!

I picked up third edition when it was released, but it has been lying un-investigated for almost six months now. I guess a large part of this ambivalence is due to the fact I love the second edition so much. However, reading this announcement has gotten me excited for the game – more so, in fact, than the actual release! – and I’m planning to bring the game to the table tomorrow for International TableTop Day. It’s my intention to get a blog written up post-game with my initial thoughts, anyway, so keep an eye out for that!

The two new expansions look amazing, anyway, and a really nice way to expand upon a game. First up we have Caught in a Web, a scenario pack that seems to feature tons of theme in the form of Ariad, the sorceress nemesis that Descent players will be familiar with from the Labyrinth of Ruin expansion. From what we know of this Runebound implementation, Ariad will stalk the land in spider form, seeking to destroy four of the Free Cities of Terrinoth, which sounds like a super-thematic game experience, really exciting.

The Gilded Blade is an adventure pack that appears to be in the “more of the same” category of boardgame expansions, which I am more than okay with seeing. New skills and assets, and new encounter cards, are all more than welcome in this kind of game to keep it fresh and exciting. Both packs each come with one new hero – I say “new”, but both are veterans of Runebound second edition: Red Scorpion was in the older base game, and Jonas the Kind was one of the infamous four promo heroes. I love the fact we’re seeing old favourites in new sculpts (new for Runebound: Jonas the Kind can be found in Treaty of Champions in his new incarnation), as these heroes are the classics that I have enjoyed taking through Terrinoth on adventures in the past.

I cannot wait to try this game out tomorrow, and I cannot wait to get my hands on these expansions when they hit over the summer!

Elder Sign Grave Consequences

Something that may have flown a little under the radar is this print-on-demand expansion for Elder Sign that I’m really excited by! A deck of 50 cards split between Phobias, Epic Battles and Epitaphs, it looks like a totally awesome way to add in an extra bit or two to increase the theme of the game. I love it! I ordered it as soon as the news article went up, along with a game mat for Android Netrunner that I’ve wanted for a while, and at the time of this writing, these products have just yesterday landed in the UK. Can’t wait to get my grubby mits on them!

Android Mainframe

On the subject of Netrunner, I can’t not mention this game, which has been announced as now available. From having read the previews, it feels a lot like a re-creation of the LCG where all players are Runners going up against the Corp – I’ve been trying not to really look into it too much simply because I’ve grown to love the card game so much lately, but that very enjoyment is now making me think maybe this could be worth investigation. I’ve seen it available for £24, so it would hardly break the bank, but I just don’t feel a need for it right now.

Warhammer Conquest Searching for Truth

Warhammer Conquest is another LCG that I’ve been really enjoying since I began to play it with some gusto a month or so back, and I’m particularly looking forward to the Legions of Death deluxe expansion, which will bring my favourites, the Necrons, into the game! I’m feeling a little jealous that all of the other factions have so many cards while these guys will be entering the game following two full cycles, and their mechanic of using generic soldiers as chaff just makes that worse, to my entitled geek mind! I’m only partially serious – I wish they’d been able to bring the deluxe expansions for both Tyranids and Necrons out sooner, out of cycle if necessary, to ensure these factions aren’t left behind. But I suppose we’ll see when they eventually appear just how “left behind” they are.

The fourth expansion for the upcoming Death World cycle has been announced, Searching for Truth, and features a new Necron warlord – Illuminor Szeras! Of all the Necron named characters in 40k, I like him the most, as his model is just the right blend of creepy and weird that really fascinates me about the Necrons. My own attempt at the guy isn’t the greatest, but I enjoyed painting him all the same. In the game, he gains a resource whenever damage is removed from Necron units, and given the cards coming for the faction, this doesn’t look like it’ll be too difficult to accomplish! Looks like a more high-risk strategy than I usually go for in games, but definitely one that I’m looking forward to checking out!

Lord of the Rings Flame of the West

Finally, let’s take a look at the fifth Saga expansion for Lord of the Rings LCG that deals with the events of the actual book itself – The Flame of the West.

Long-time readers of my blog will probably remember that I’ve often called this game my all-time favourite game, yet I’ve barely played it at all for so long now, I feel like such a terrible person! In fact… the last time I played any of the quests was 7 September, when I went through the Voice of Isengard expansion. That is shocking! Recently, I’ve noticed I’ve been feeling in the mood for a game but, due to having my dining table choc full of half-painted miniatures, I’ve never gotten round to it. Hopefully soon I can get some more games in, and reacquaint myself with Middle Earth!

Flame of the West follows book five of The Lord of the Rings, and it looks like the quests will involve the bit with the spectres, a battle at the boats with the Pelargir corsairs, and then the pitched battle at the Pelennor Fields. I’m particularly interested in the second quest, The Siege of Gondor, which follows Aragorn et al as they take possession of the corsairs’ ships. I love the way this game has built up a whole library of side stories that have shown what happened just to the side of the main story of the books, and this looks like it’s going to be no exception! I’m also really intrigued by how the preview article describes the third quest as being heavily tied to the results of previous games…

The new Tactics Éowyn is worth mentioning as well – what a special skill! 4 willpower in a Tactics hero is going to be so useful anyway that she will definitely find her way into a lot of decks, but the ability to deal 10 damage for a threat-raise of 3 should be really handy in the multitude of quests we now have that time a boss-type enemy until late in the game. It’s also super-thematic for the hero, too, so a massive thumbs-up from me there!

Well that’s all I wanted to talk about today – so excited for some of these games, it’s just untrue! What about you guys? Looking forward to more for Runebound? Can’t wait to slay the Witch-king? Let me know in the comments!

Warhammer Conquest Store Championship 2016

Hey everybody!
This weekend, I took part in the Warhammer 40k: Conquest Store Championship at my local games store, primarily to make the numbers up (and also ensure I got to play a few more games of this fantastic LCG!) so thought I’d ramble on here about it! This is the second time I’ve gone to a card game tournament, having taken part in the Netrunner Summer 15 championship last year – you can check out my blog on that one here. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you may well know that I’m really not a competitive player, which may make it a little odd to see me attending tournaments like this but, as I said, I go simply to get some games in, see some different decks, and meet people who love these games as much as I do.

I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer – I lost. I mean, five people turned up, and I came fifth. It’s no surprise, really, because I was taking my Space Marines deck up against some powerhouses of the game. Of the five, three of us were playing Marines – two of us had Cato Sicarius as warlord! – with the other decks on offer being Tau and Dark Eldar/Eldar. Let’s talk about the games for a moment.

My first game was a Sicarius vs Sicarius matchup, and my opponent was a chatty chap called Rob who had traveled almost an hour to attend. We are both Necron fanatics, and love 40k in general, so our game almost went to time as we were taking so long just chatting about the game. The planets we had were a bit of a nightmare though, as the colour spread meant that we’d have to win five planets to get a set of three! I think the game eventually lost when my warlord died, actually. But it was really fun to meet someone who also loves the theme and the game as much as I do!

My next match was against a Hungarian chap called Tamás, who had sat the first round out due to the odd number of attendees. He was playing the Dark Eldar/Eldar deck, with Packmaster Kith as his warlord. This deck was just nightmarish to play against, and all of us had been a bit concerned due to how effective a Kith deck can be. To be fair, Tamás was clearly a master at working his deck, and it looked like a well-oiled, beautiful machine. Unfortunately, it was a massacre for me, and came down to the point where we had all of our guys at the first planet, and his army took up most of the table there! Jeez. But so great to go up against and see how these things work!

The third and final match was against Tom, who had traveled with Rob to be here, and was also playing Space Marines, however using Ragnar Blackmane as his warlord. I decided to just go balls-out on this, and dropped my Ultramarines Dreadnought at the first planet on turn one, which allowed me to win the planet – my first of the tournament! But it swiftly degenerated and, having managed to bloody my warlord through a mis-play by me, Sicarius was swiftly dispatched with not one but two Crushing Blows on the subsequent turn. The game was quick and brutal, and Tom went on to win the tournament on extended strength of schedule. He was pleased, as it gave him a bye in the first round of the Regionals (which I think he said is taking place in Nottingham) – he actually wrote up an account of his games, which you can check out here.

It was a fun day, getting to see these other decks and all, and I kept laughing when people were acting all concerned that I had lost – I eventually gave up saying “I’m just here to play some cards” and went with it, but overall, it’s just good to play some games! If I’d known so many Space Marines would turn up, I might have tried to build a different deck, but that doesn’t really matter. All in all, fun was had, and that’s all I wanted from the day!

Warhammer Conquest 2016 Store Championship

I’m probably going to go back and look at my deck, get some things changed around in there, and I also want to see about making maybe a Tyranid deck, or perhaps a Chaos deck. Or maybe both! Legions of Death should be due out sometime soon, of course – the Regionals swag is Necron-themed, after all – and I’m definitely going to be making a Necron deck when that hits!

How about you guys, anyone here win their Store Championship? Hopefully you all did better than me, but I also hope you had as much fun as I did!

Warhammer 40k: Conquest

Hey everybody!
After last week’s hiatus, Game Day is back, with a look at another of my favourite games from my personal collection. Today is actually a first for me, as this will be the third Game Day blog to feature this particular game – we’re taking a look at Warhammer 40k: Conquest!

This game was released late in 2014 almost as a replacement for the cancelled Warhammer: Invasion, set in the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy. While I was initially a little sceptical, being a long-time fan of the fantasy game, I was definitely in love with the game following my first play-through. Unfortunately, this first game had been looking like it would be my only game, until I finally dusted off a deck to try at my local game store, following the announcement of a tournament there next month. Now, I’m not a tournament player, as last year’s Netrunner event showed, however I can’t resist the opportunity to get in a lot of games, even if it means going against my nature!

So last week I was able to get in a couple of games, once with a pre-constructed Space Marine deck that featured a lot of the Space Wolves cards from the first cycle, and another with a deck I’d built up in the hope of one day getting a game in. I have to say, my first (second?) impressions are unchanged from 2014 – indeed, if anything, I’m even more in love with this game than I was then!

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

But what makes this game so much fun?

The game has a strong similarity to Call of Cthulhu insofar as you’re fighting over a number of cards that are arrayed across the table between the players. The game also has a lot of similarities to other LCGs from Fantasy Flight, but this is something that I really like about them – there’s a sense of familiarity that allows you to move easily between games. Overall, each is very different, but there are a few bits that feel nice to have that kind of consistency, almost. But I digress!

It’s also incredibly strategic, more than I thought it might be, as you have to decide where you’re going to commit your Warlord, whether you want to commit to a planet to gain the command advantage, and thus risk your opponent winning the first planet – there is a lot to think about.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

All of my games have been as Space Marines, so I can’t really speak for the other factions yet, but there is a really clear mechanic here of using some really heavy-hitters to just go all-out, along with some really cool ways to gain resources to enable you get even heavier-hitters out. Playing against Astra Militarum, it was interesting to see how that army appears to have a lot of ability to reduce the costs of troops and create synergies to bolster the ranks, too.

The sense of the tabletop game is most assuredly there, not merely because of the strong flavour and similarity with unit-names and whatnot. It does feel like a very tactical game as you decide where to deploy your units, and out-guess where your opponent will deploy his Warlord.

It also allows for some really exceptional thematic experiences. I lost both of the games I’ve played lately, firstly because I was a bit too cavalier with my Warlord, and secondly because I didn’t think long-term enough. In the first instance, my Warlord was bloodied and battered, and then kicked down by some Snotling tokens. In the second, my Warlord was bloodied (and so, forced to retreat) once again by Snotlings – during the second game, it became a running joke therefore how Cato Sicarius was afraid of the Snotlings and as soon as they appeared, his days were numbered, etc.

Warhammer Conquest

This is fast becoming a firm favourite for me, and I’m looking at putting another deck together, either Eldar or Chaos (well, maybe I’ll put two more together!) It’s a really fun game, with a lot of depth and stuff to think about, and one that I’m looking forward to a lot more games!

Catching up with FFG

Some very exciting things have been coming out of FFG over the past couple of days, some of it already announced at GenCon, but some new. Let’s take a look!

Under the Pyramids

To start with, the very exciting news about Under the Pyramids, the new big box expansion for Eldritch Horror. Last year saw Mountains of Madness come out, which brought a sideboard to the game, along with a lot of additional bumph that you can see in my blog here. Under the Pyramids seems to be following that template, with a new board that depicts – unsurprisingly – the Egyptian desert. Two new Ancient Ones, of which only Nephren-ka has been spoiled, along with eight more investigators and a whole host of other new bits. I’m guessing Nyarlathotep will be the second Ancient One, though given the breadth of lore for him in the mythos, he may be better-placed in a box by himself. We’ll see, though.

Something that sounds like a lot of fun is the Museum Heist adventure – no idea how this will work mechanically, but it just sounds like a lot of fun!

Hoping we’ll get this for Christmas!

Descent Treaty of Champions

Just announced today is the seventh hero and monster collection for Descent – Treaty of Champions! Looks very much like more of the same, really, though take a look at those miniatures! Those demon lords look absolutely amazing. Interestingly, while I said this was more of the same, there is a new monster group, the Crow Hag! An interesting-looking mini, some strange cultist-like character with a huge mace of some sort… interesting!

Always great to have exciting options for a game, anyway!

Warhammer Conquest What Lurks Below

Have I mentioned the new cycle for Warhammer Conquest? I’m not sure…  At any rate, the next cycle is expected to begin at some point, and it mainly deals with interacting with the position of planets. Capitalizing on the fact the deluxe expansion, The Great Devourer, will be released by the time this hits, we’ll also be getting Tyranid cards, and the fourth pack, What Lurks Below, brings a new Warlord to the faction. In keeping with the first cycle, it also looks like the Space Marines will be focusing on a new chapter, this time Black Templars. Interesting, as I’d have thought we’d be seeing something like Blood Angels or Dark Angels first. At any rate, I wasn’t actually intending to keep buying Conquest packs after the Warlord cycle ended, but FFG are always so very good at keeping me hooked on their card-crack!

Imperial Assault Return to Hoth

I realise I’ve not mentioned the other big, exciting expansion announced back in GenCon, Return to Hoth! I’ve actually played the skirmish game once, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but have wanted to play more before featuring it on the blog. Anyway, it’s a really exciting game, and Return to Hoth looks like it has some very good additions to this! The miniatures include HK-droids, Wampas, and a Mon Calamari hero, all of which look excellent.

The associated ally and villain packs also look good – Princess Leia, Dengar, and some Snowtrooper chaps, all look fantastic! Interestingly, there is a lot in this box that seems to support the skirmish game, including a four-player variant, which makes me wonder if FFG are keen to support this aspect above anything else. It does kinda make sense, given the opportunity for organised play. The skirmish game is certainly the more popular aspect as far as what I’m seeing locally, at any rate.

Another one for the Christmas list, anyway – all four of these things are coming before the end of the year, anyway.

Finally…

X Wing Imperial Raider

The Imperial Raider is apparently in stock at my local store, though it is so overdue that I don’t think I’ll actually believe it until I’ve seen it with my own hands!

New stuff! And not-so new stuff!

Hey everybody!

It’s been a pretty quiet week for me this past week, as I wrestled with the last essay for the degree I’ve been doing for a while now. That being said, it doesn’t look like there’s been an awful lot of game stuff about – so that was a totally misleading title, huh?!

You guys seen this? It was announced a while back, of course, but I’ve been a bit ambivalent about it all, if I’m honest. I mean, I have everything for the first edition of A Game of Thrones LCG, so I’ve been thinking it unlikely I’d want to get a second edition. Looking at all this stuff, it doesn’t really look significantly different enough to warrant buying anew. What do you folks think? Anyone eager to replace their first edition?

Perhaps more interesting in the LCG world are the expansions announced for Call of Cthulhu and Lord of the Rings. First of all, The Thousand Young is looking really intriguing. While previous big box expansions have introduced either a new setting, or buffed one of the eight factions. This one seems to be doing both, as we get Shub-Niggurath cards themed around New Orleans! Fantastic, very much looking forward to getting this, even though I don’t play the faction!

mec42-fan

The Treachery of Rhudaur, the fourth pack in the Angmar Awakened cycle for Lord of the Rings, is looking great, too. As the article says, the cards in this cycle build on the Noldor theme, and those of this fourth pack really contribute to this. So far, I’m really impressed with how this makes the game feel like it has been really well-planned, as the Noldor theme of discarding cards for buffs has already been established three cycles back. The quest is also a good one, more Undead folks and shenanigans among the crumbling ruins of a keep. I seem to remember the quests getting better as the cycle moves on – at any rate, I’m looking forward to this!

whk09_cardfan

The third exciting thing in the LCG world is the announcement of the next cycle for Warhammer 40k: Conquest! The Planetfall cycle features cards that work off specific planet card icons, which should make for some interesting strategies. I’m quite surprised by this, as it will be featuring Tyranids following their arrival in The Great Devourer, though I’d kinda expected we’d see the Necron deluxe expansion first. Seems like the Necrons will be entering this game significantly behind the other races, unfortunately!

Speaking of Necrons…

Over the course of the weekend I’ve been doing more stuff with Necrons, following last weekend’s success with the Immortals. Lychguards are, of course, my absolute favourite Necron kit – the amazing poses you can get from these guys are just great. I’ve currently got two squads of these chaps – one with warscythes and one with hyperphase swords/dispersion shields. I hadn’t built up any of these guys since late last year, however, so it was nice to get back to these guys, and I’ve spent a few hours on both these and the tomb blades that I’ve had going on for a few weeks now.

Necron Lychguard

I’m trying to remember how I painted these up last time, as I want them to blend in with those I painted up previously. Something I’ve tried to go for with my Necrons is to have a shaded body for the Immortals, but a more shining body for the Lychguard – they are the bodyguards of the lords, after all! So I’ve left the Immortals with a Nuln Oil wash, but these Lychguard have also been “drybrushed” with Necron Compound (of course!) – I use the term loosely, of course, as rather than drybrushing as a highlighting technique, I’ve been using an almost polishing action to try and add that metallic matte finish to them. You can see one of my previous guys on the far right of the above picture, anyway – so far, they do seem to be blending, anyway!

I’ve also built up a fourth tomb blade from spare bits that I’d bought for that kitbash competition a few months back, as well as some other bits I’d managed to scrounge from ebay. Marvellous! So I’ve currently got two with tesla cannons and two with gauss blasters. The most recent addition is that with the golden sensor vane thing in the above shot.

I’m kinda enjoying this increased painting activity, I must say. I’m currently planning to do a Doomsday Ark as a summer project, but I’m also thinking of doing the Night Scythe soon as well. I’ve also got the Triarch Stalker built up and primed since before Christmas, so that’ll need some attention soon… I’m also interested in doing something with my Monolith. Oh, so much plastic!

Games Sunday!

Hey everybody!
It feels like a while since I’ve been posting anything of substance here, apologies to all who have missed my sagacious words this past week! I’ve been feeling a bit rough, sadly, between one thing and another. I’ve also been working madly at an essay that’s due on Thursday – I managed to get about half of it done yesterday, eventually, but that’s been heavy-going. Additionally, I’ve been asked to produce a promotional video for a meeting in work, which has involved a steep learning curve on Windows Movie Maker, but I’ve managed to throw something together. That’s actually been lots of fun, and I’m hoping to make use of these skills for this here blog in the future! You have been warned!

However, due to all of these shenanigans, I’m more than likely only going to have time for another small-scale game day blog next week. It’s about two weeks until I’ve got some time off, however, so such meagre offerings will hopefully be mitigated then!

So what’s new in the world?

Not sure if you’ve seen the news, but FFG put up a preview for the first deluxe expansion to the Warhammer Conquest LCG, The Great Devourer. Tyranids are coming to the Traxis Sector! While I was hoping for Necrons, it’s still exciting to see!

The Great Devourer

I picked up the third war pack last week from the local games shop, and was taking with the manager there about how I’ve only actually managed to get in one game with this one, back when the core set released before Christmas. That needs to be remedied, and soon, I feel! I seem to remember that it is a really great game, with a lot of strategy and such, so I hope I can get it to the table more, anyway. The new deluxe seems to offer a lot of interesting options, anyway, so I can definitely see myself picking this up. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but Tyranids would have been my army of choice had I not gone for Necrons.

Speaking of Warhammer, I’ve not painted anything for what seems like an age. Luckily, I’ve also not been buying things in a similar timeframe. Since I hit the wall, I’ve sold off a few of my kits on ebay to try to thin the ranks, but it hasn’t really helped! I’ve been pursuing more traditional tabletop gaming pursuits, such as Thunderstone, which helped to redress the balance in my life after Warhammer had been taking over. However, there are still odd moments where I find myself wanting to be more creative once again, so I think it might only be a matter of time before I pick up a brush.

Not before I finish the essay, however!

As far as Warhammer Fantasy goes, the fifth and final round of the End Times is currently raging, with Archaon the Everchosen coming down from the Chaos Wastes to wreak havoc among the shattered remains of the Empire. I pre-ordered the books on Friday, but haven’t gone for a Bloodthirster – it’s a nice model, but I still prefer the daemon prince!

Back to FFG, who have also announced another Reinforcements pack for Battlelore, the Razorwings. Still really excited for new stuff for Battlelore, though part of me is really concerned as to the expansion model we’re seeing here. While it is, of course, a tactical miniatures wargame, I was still hoping it would be expanded in the traditional manner of a boardgame, with a big box for more stuff. Instead, while they have announced boxes of army reinforcements, we’re seeing more of these smaller packs of just a couple of minis, and my wallet cries out in dismay! However, the Razorwings are something of an iconic Terrinoth monster, so it’ll definitely be fun to have these in the game.

Battlelore Razorwings

We’re currently looking at a similar situation for Imperial Assault, which has had another preview of the new ally packs that are expected shortly. I still haven’t been able to play Imperial Assault, unfortunately, so I’m currently hoping to abstain from buying these things. Yeah, right…

Back to LCGs now, and Escape from Mount Gram, the second adventure pack in the Angmar Awakened cycle for Lord of the Rings, has been announced. I’ve mentioned it before, of course, that I was a playtester for this cycle, and this adventure is just awesome. The preview article only hints at the actual quest, which I’m not going to spoil here, but suffice it to say, this quest is hard for solo play. The final pack in the cycle was my absolute favourite, with some awesome effects involved. I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to be pleased with this one!

JSA crossover 1

Over to Cryptozoic now, where the DC deck-building game continues to expand! Crisis Pack #2 was released a couple of weeks ago, and that looks like more of the same from Crisis Pack #1, though obviously tailored to Heroes Unite rather than the base game. The JSA Crossover Pack #1 looks like a really cool way of expanding the line, too – more heroes, more super-villains, and a smattering of new main deck cards, all for £8! It gives it almost a LCG-like feel! Of course, a lot of people have been complaining that there is only one current actual expansion for the game, the Crisis Pack, as the other stuff released so far has been new core sets, with punches and kicks etc that are just superfluous if you only want more options for one game. Well, now you have them! As ‘Crossover Pack 1’, it means there’s a whole host of options for more in the future! According to boardgamegeek, Packs 2 and 3 are Arrow and Legion of Super-Heroes, respectively. I believe Pack 2 will have screencaps from the TV show, unfortunately, but even so, it’s always good to see games expanded! Pack 3 also links to a fourth core set that is expected sometime soon, Teen Titans. I’m sure I’ll keep buying these things, as it is an enjoyable game.

Ghostbusters

And speaking of Cryptozoic, there are just three days left on their Ghostbusters kickstarter!

I’m still pretty excited by this game, having been a huge fan of this IP as a child. A lot of negativity has surrounded the game, something I only vaguely touched on when I last looked at the campaign earlier in the month. It is currently 390% funded, and has seen twenty stretch goals to get there. Of these, seventeen are kickstarter exclusives. And there are some pretty iconic Ghostbusters characters among those exclusives. A lot of people have read this as a cash-grab, with the company wanting to just make as much money from a one-time deal as they can, then drop the thing, while recently some more level-headed arguments have been put forward.

The game is primarily based around the comics series from IDW publishing, with the ghostbusters themselves having this comic-book look to them. The game has barely scratched the surface of the universe that has been continued in this medium, so it’s entirely possible that the game is more comics-centric than movies-centric. While that makes a lot of sense in terms of the game itself, from a business point of view, it seems overwhelmingly short-sighted, as I imagine most people aren’t even aware of the comics. (If you’re one of these people, start here!) I’ve currently thrown $300 at this campaign, anyway, as I’m thinking I’ll cover all bases by getting the exclusives add-ons while they’re available, then if the game isn’t supported post-release, I’ll at least have plenty of options for a long time!

While I’m on the subject of comics…

Years ago, I was an avid comics collector. It became something close to an addiction, however, and I made the herculean effort of selling them all. I’ve still been a Star Wars comics fan, of course, but all my Marvel and DC stuff I got rid of. However, I can’t help feeling that I didn’t do the right thing, and playing games like DC and Marvel Legendary has shown that I still have a love of comic book universes. So I decided to get a couple of things at the end of last month, including the new Flash comics that are part of DC’s overhaul, the New 52. They’ve only just arrived, and I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Flash has forever been my favourite DC hero, in part because it remains to this day the only computer game I have ever completed…

That’s right, kids – these are the kind of games I grew up with!

Ready for Conquest!

Well folks, it’s finally here!

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

I’ve been growing in excitement for this game since I first mentioned it, and now that it’s in my hot little hands, I have to say, I’m suitably pleased by it! Well, on a first-look basis, naturally.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

First of all, I’m surprised at the size of the box. It’s the size of the one of the “silver-line” games, such as Elder Sign or Blood Bowl: Team Manager, and not the usual LCG core set size. Whether that is meant to mean anything, I don’t know. Storage, however, will be a problem for me, as the game expands, as the War Packs are apparently coming in plastic clamshell packaging, so the cards can’t be stored in them once they’ve been cut open. But anyway.

As well as the usual good-quality cardboard chits, there are two rulebooks (in keeping with what seems to be FFG’s new policy of a fast-start rulebook, and a nuts-and-bolts follow up), and a whole slew of cards. As well as the standard-sized cards for the main body of the game, there are four decks of small ‘token’ cards associated with four of the seven factions present in the core box. These cards enter the game based on a variety of mechanics.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

FFG has spotlighted each of the seven factions in articles that were published leading up to the release, partly as a sort of player guide to making the most out of each:
Space Marines
Astra Militarum
Orks
Chaos
Dark Eldar
Eldar
Tau Empire

Unfortunately, my personal favourites – the Necrons – are to be released in a future expansion, along with the Tyranids. But anyhow, there’s a good, classic hunk of the mythos in this box, and with the four War Packs that have so far been announced, even more 40k goodness is on its way to us!
The Howl of Blackmane (bring on the Space Wolves!)
The Scourge (Nurgle in all his glory)
– Gift of the Ethereals (new Tau warlord)
– Zogwort’s Curse (new Ork warlord)
The Threat Beyond (new Astra Militarum warlord)
Descendants of Isha (new Eldar & Dark Eldar warlords)

I’m still a bit surprised by how quickly these packs have been announced – I suppose I’m still thinking in terms of the older LCGs, where there were six months or more between expansions. I suppose I should be looking forward to them, but still – let us enjoy the game first!! (Of course, that said, I still want that Necron deluxe expansion!!)

So the object of the game, as described, is to win control of three planets with a matching icon in the top corner of the card. This is reminiscent of the story cards in Call of Cthulhu, but having now played the game, the similarity is purely cosmetic! Each planet has a Battle ability that can be triggered when a player wins a combat there, but only the first planet in the line-up can ever be won.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

The core of your deck is your Warlord, who brings with him a sub-deck of eight cards that form his ‘signature squad’. Other cards in the deck can feed off the Warlord, such as the Tzeentch cards in the Chaos deck, and I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see Warlords that support pre-existing themes, and cards designed to work closely with pre-existing Warlords.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

The rest of the cards in your deck are primarily army units, which I suppose is a reflection of the source material as a tabletop miniatures game.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

I’ve played all of Fantasy Flight’s LCGs, and have enjoyed each one for its own merits. This game is definitely worthy of joining those ranks, I must say! It feels true to the source material insofar as players are fighting for control of an objective, and something I particularly like is the alternating gameplay. You don’t get to take your entire turn in one go, which means less downtime of course, but also makes it a lot more strategic than just putting down your heavy-hitters and making a mess of the battlefield. You really have to think about your moves, and plan out ahead what you’re going to do, while adapting to what your opponent is doing. It makes for a really enjoyable game, and makes me wish more of the LCGs were like this!

Of course, Eric Lang is one of my favourite game designers, responsible for such awesomeness as the Warhammer Invasion and Star Wars LCGs, among others. While I have indeed only played this game once so far, I can honestly say that it was a really enjoyable experience, and the game is definitely one that I can see myself coming to again and again!

Now, I am aware that I’ve been talking about Warhammer unto death on this blog lately – that’s just because it’s my new favourite thing. I’m not intending to keep on spamming you all like this, and more blogs are of course planned as time goes on, with updates on the various fascinating aspects of my life…

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

Ready for Conquest

Warhammer Conquest

Hey everybody!
I’m still kinda recovering from the banquet of awesome that was GenCon14 – if you haven’t already, take a look at my previous blog from the four-day weekend and what awesomeness came out of it! Today I’m going to have some preliminary thoughts on the upcoming Warhammer 40000: Conquest LCG, which I have mentioned before of course, but which is still to make it into my hot little hands.

It was released at GenCon, and the folks at Team Covenant very kindly put together the below demo video showing exactly how the game is played:

I must admit, I hadn’t been truly following this game’s announcements since the initial post in March, so didn’t have a real grasp for how the game worked. I was kinda intrigued, but I think any enthusiasm was tempered by the thought that Warhammer Invasion had been ended to make room for this. Being a massive Warhammer Fantasy fan, I was a little saddened! My initial thoughts had always been very much “Oh, this is just like Warmachine, then?”, but in actual fact it has a lot more in common with Call of Cthulhu, I would say.

Warhammer Conquest

The demo makes the game look awesome, so it’s definitely going to be something I’m going to pick up. I’ve never really thought of myself as interested in the 40k universe before, despite a brief flirtation with it about three years ago when I was looking at the various RPG modules FFG has released. However, since I have gotten into modelling, I have become enamoured of the Necron faction, and have been re-evaluating my thoughts! While Necrons are not one of the initial seven factions present in the core set, the In-Flight Report at this year’s GenCon did apparently come with the news that we’d be seeing two new factions for Warhammer Conquest at some point:

Hopefully Necrons will find their way into the game with a deluxe expansion, then!

Aside from anything else, however, the artwork is just beautiful. Take a look at the cards in this example of the combat phase:

Warhammer Conquest

How amazing! I do, of course, love Chaos, so will be looking to play these guys when the game is finally released. Either that, or Dark Eldar (Dark Elves are the other faction that I love!) I know not a lot about the factions in 40k, but FFG has provided a diagram of those included in the core set for their deckbuilding rules:

Warhammer Conquest

Basically, you can build a deck that includes cards from one of the factions to either side of your main faction, so a Dark Eldar deck can also include cards from Chaos or Eldar as allies. Looking at this in conjunction with the current army list on the Games Workshop website, it strikes me there are at least four factions that are currently not represented here: Tyranids, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and of course my beloved Necrons. Just how integral to the game any of those are, I don’t know, so I can’t make any sort of guess as to which will appear. We’ll just have to wait and see!

But yeah, it looks like a really good game, so I’m looking forward to getting it. Once I do – and, of course, once I get some games played – I’ll be back with a proper look at it!

Warhammer Conquest

Until then, why not check out the rules on FFG’s site?!