Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Just a Game

So what's next?

It's been a while, oh Internet of things.  In fact it has almost been a year since I posted on here (other than the recent dose of salt of course).  It would be very easy to get into a whole post on why the blog was abandoned, and then bring it back around to why I'm here today, resurrecting the dead.. sorry thread.  It would be very easy wouldn't it.

However, lets go with the abridged version.. I got through the divorce, ended up drifting off the gaming scene (because I couldn't be bothered trying to find a gaming group I could get to.. or at least played on weekends), I struggled to keep the blog going on my own, discovered someone was already in my life that meant a lot to me, and in the next week or so I will becoming a father for the first time.  Things sort of just happened and this blog wasn't one of them.

Basically... I forgot.

The last few months have become something of a blur, and yet in the middle of all of it came the unabashed desire to actually get off my weighty frame (re: backside) and start gaming again.  I've still, not really, managed to do that of course, but its bought the blog back to the table.

Concentrated for more flavour

There is, clearly, going to be a small bundle of (*Insert personally appropriate definition*) coming along soon and so I'm not promising regular updates.  However, in order to make sure I do get back on track the new and improved (and present) Big Grumpy Gamer blog is going to be a bit more concentrated and a little more fixed.

I'm going to, personally, be focused on two games in the next few months.  The first of these is going to be Guild Ball, and this site is more or less going to be dedicated to it.  I might show you the odd thing I pick up from Kickstarter, but I'm not going to be doing the weekly trawl to show people what I like.  If nothing else, that took a lot of time and I didn't get anything out of it.

When I do get around to it there will be painting information, rules posts, possible match reports and lots and lots of general chatter about teams and the like.  I was going to focus on the Alchemist's when I first started, and I still have them.  I may even revert back to them, but in the next month or so I'll be moving to the new Farmer's Guild.  This will be what I take to tournaments and probably will end up with a lot of "stuff" as I get going with my new Guild.

IF, and its a pretty big IF at the moment, I can get myself going on the blog then I will also resurrect the idea of a Podcast or a YouTube set of match reports.  However, I don't intend on doing that alone... more on that later.

On that point - Can I please point people at the following:

The Battlehammer - These guys pretty much have kept me going for a while.  Potentially keeping me interested in gaming in general, but have also become very close friends.  Seriously.. these guys are awesome

Don't touch the Beard - One of those people I've been connected to by utter chance several times over in the past (yet never met in person).  His Match report style is awesome and a lot of fun.  If you haven't already go watch (People from CP, I insist you go watch these.. especially if you remember High King Tristan).

Singled Out - My Guild Ball podcast of choice at the moment.  A lot of fun, really good content, really good way of explaining and outlining how they are finding the game.  Well, when Jason isn't talking over people of course...

Oh and I'm sure people spotted that Guild Ball will be the first of the two games I will be playing.  The other is going to be Wild West Exodus.  I'm not sure how much content will go on here though, as I've volunteered to write stuff for the official Wild West Exodus blog.  What I put there won't be on here, but you may see the odd thing appear over here if the mood takes me.  In a similar vein to Guild Ball, there is also always the chance I'd move onto Podcast or YouTube if I can.

And in the vein of linking people I think are pretty important in my gaming world

Sarah Cawkwell - So Sarah will probably be aghast at being linked.. probably.  Sarah writes an excellent array of short stories and full novels.  Part of her work is on Wild West Exodus 2nd Ed, and I really look forward to getting my hands on the first book she is doing for them.. and the 2nd Ed book of course, in which Sarah as been quite busy I believe.

If you happen to be local

So here is the hiccup, I still haven't managed to do anything in terms of "regular" gaming.  The fairer and smarter half has pointed out that this is something I should fix.  I know.. I'm very very lucky.  So I'm hoping to get something sorted out for around every other week (and the odd tournament).

I'm hoping I can start getting myself over to Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster or even Barnsley soon enough.  I will need to get past the self confidence and chronic anxiety mind you.  I'm also hoping people might be able to come and game over here (or I can drive.. this is a thing.. Parker/Straw can attest to this.  In fact I need to get down there again.. once the baby is here though).

The Podcast and YouTube stuff though.. well I'm hoping someone local might well be interested in joining me is something silly like that.  As noted before, doing the blog on my own actually became more daunting than I want to admit, and if nothing else comes of this it's that I'd quite like to open the Big Grumpy Gamer site up to other contributers (perhaps to bring in other games, now I'm not).

So yeah, if you play Guild Ball, or Wild West Exodus, and happen to want some one to have a game against let me know..

Friday, 28 July 2017

Been burnt once before

Nearly a year

Its been nearly a year of not posting on my blog.  Yet something has appeared which has brought me to resurrect the old stomping ground.

The Big Grumpy Gamer is back (I'm very very salty right now).

If this is truly a return I shall post something later about why the long absence, but I'm really here to put down some initial thought and feelings.  I can't help it, its all come about because of the Guild Ball errata.  Actually, its all come about from changes to the Alchemists.  Yes, they are my team (when I play), so it is entirely possibly to say I'm being petty.  As such, let me add clarification:

I don't mind Midas and Vitriol being balanced downwards, they needed it.
I will still play the game and play Alchemists (for now)
I don't know if I will swap out characters, because I've not played with the changes.  Everything I say now is initial reactions, I'm just confused about the choice(s) that have been made.

So based on the above: Yes, I don't like the changes (actually its one above all others) but I won't be burning all my models on a tea tray in the back garden.


So the captain got hit hard.  He has lost a lot from his card and some of it is a bit nasty.

Actually he got what he deserved and I only really care about one part.  In all these changes are pretty reasonable.

1. He lost Supershot... well with it he could have a 4/10" kick and that's just bonkers.  So I'm ok with this.  Its not like he isn't super maneuverable anyway.
2. He lost Lightfooted... ok so he is a little less maneuverable, but lets think about this for a second.  He can perform teamwork actions for 1 less, so dodging on a pass or on receiving is still there.  Now all this loss means is he can't run over rough ground without cost (unless you use a momentum point of course and considering teamwork actions are more or less free this isn't really a big tax now is it).  I'm fine with this.
3. Lure of Gold is once per turn rather than one per team mate per turn.  Its a painful change, picking how to use this is now tougher, but actually I never really considered using this a lot anyway when I first saw it.  Certainly I wasn't going to be burning influence on it, and I have a lot of things to do with his playbook results most of the time.
4. Promise of Fortune no longer gives +1 armour.. well that's annoying.  Its not earth shatteringly annoying, but still.  Midas used to have more in his arsenal to keep the ball and basically this is another nail in that coffin.  Yes 5+ Def is still good, so I'm not protesting too much, but this is about the only really hard change to live with.

I'm ok with Midas being like this though.  It's painful, but not punitive.  Lure of Gold is less effective, but I'm not sure how well used it was anyway.


So first things first, she still needed work to downscale her and after really thinking things through I'm ok with most of what has happened.  I'll go with the ok stuff first

1. She has lost the option of doing +1 dmg, once, on a target in cover.  Sure, I mean it used to be all the time, I coped with it going down to once, so losing it is alright I guess.  Basically it's sort of clear she was doing too much damage and this is a fine way to get her back to being a striker
2. The same applies to the move of her 3 damage result up one with the push dodge going down one.  It's a better fit for a model that shouldn't be getting into a scrap as often anymore.
3. The other reason she shouldn't get into a scrap is she comes on with less health now is she is taken out.  But wait

Been burnt once before

Vitriol has lost her +2"/+2" move when she starts in cover and gained "Been burnt once before".  A 2" move when she starts her activation in melee range of someone who is burning or poisoned.

I just don't get this and I will try to explain why.  I doubt anyone from Steamforged will read this, after all I'm venting, but in the off chance they do I would love to know some of the way this came about/went through testing.. anything to just quash these fears I have.

I need to split this into two parts:

Via opposing players - 80% of the time, with only 10 health, Vitriol will not want to be ending a turn next to an enemy player.  So if positioned correctly Vit shouldn't ever get this dodge.. ever.  We've already said a lot of the changes stop her being a fighter and more of a striker, so by choice I will never get this bonus.

The rest of the time things get messy and complicated, so bare with me.  I'm going to do a lot of situations here.

She has the ball, and in the last turn was attacked but not killed (clone, counter attack, etc).  In the next turn you go first and can get her to the goal.  Well I won't be dodging because I need momentum so the chance goes.

She doesn't have the ball, but ended next to a model that does... see above, I can't dodge because I need the ball and momentum.

If at any point in any situation (I have the ball or not), the model next to me has a condition, and I am going second then I would be amazed if my opponent doesn't generate momentum and clear the condition of the model I'm next to.  Thus... no dodge.  This is a similar issue to the original S1 and S2 version of OG Katalyst.  Without being able to apply conditions himself, the set up involved to get the bonus (Kat was damage, but Vit is the dodge) is so easy to counter for the opponent that they will never get to see the bonus happen.  Well not via opponents anyway.  Oh and because Vit's can only happen at the beginning of her activation it wouldn't matter anyway if she could apply one or the other, it would be too late.

Via her own team - So Vit's ability can come from any model, not just enemies.  This means S3 OG Katalyst (who is always on fire) or Crucible (who can be on fire, poisoned, or both) can be used to trigger Vit's dodge... so long as they are within 2" of her.

Hang on.. if I kick I want Vit doing the kick, to make her speed a threat to get the ball back.. so there is no way Kat or Crucible are close enough.. ok so this can't happen then.

If I receive, or later in the game than this option of using a team mate is pretty strong.  In fact this is how I would play it.. but:

Vit is far faster than either of those players.  So she has to slow down in order to get her 2" dodge from them.. that doesn't seem right.  Also Kat wants to be in the fight.. which Vit really doesn't want anymore.  Crucible doesn't want to be in the fight, but she does want to be close to it.  Better, but Vit is still an easier target.  More importantly she isn't off doing what she is designed to do, which is be a striker.  Either I have to have Vit going slow and getting to places she doesn't want to me.  Or I have to use my Lure of Gold on Kat or Crucible to make sure they keep up with Vit.. meaning Midas has to be nearby and the two fighting orientated models aren't where they really should be.

My opinions matter little

So I'm truly accepting of the fact that I haven't tested these changes.  I assume that these changes are tested in full flow of a competitive game as well as set up situations to see what would happen with the skills if the stars align for it.  My mind may change of BBoB once I have used it a bit.. but I wonder if Vitriol would be any different if they just removed BBoB all together as well.  I don't think it has the impact or use it should have in the harsh light of a first read though.  If I'm proven wrong, that would be a nice surprise right now.