Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looking into Hordes

Warmachine/Hordes has been on my radar for a while now. I've been on the verge of picking up Warpborn Skinwalkers to use as Chaos Ogres for some time. A few years ago I played a demo of Warmachine and I enjoy the experience. I didn't get into Warmachine at the time because I wasn't that fond of the steampunk genre. Of course I didn't know about Hordes then.

If you don't know what I'm talking about Warmachine and Hordes are two related but different sister games. They each have mechanics unique to them. Warmachine is game base around having a wizard whom controls arcane golem-like constructs called Warjacks. Hordes is based around having a wizard whom controls monstrous beast. Both systems are compatible with each other so a Warmachine army can fight against a Horde force. Storywise both games are in the same fictional universe called Iron Kingdoms.

Iron Kingdoms on a whole seems to be a mix of traditional fantasy and steampunk. And since I'm still not a fan of steampunk, you are probably wondering what change? Well, it starts with my friend Phil. He is my Warhammer friend. He plays a lot more games than I do and sometimes he gets in the mood to play a certain game for a while. He recently told me he has the itch to play Hordes lately. For me this would be a good time to learn the game. Phil owns a large collection of Trollbloods, enough for the both of us play each other. Beside Phil, my local gaming store has a large community of Warmachine/Hordes players. I'm sure that once I get my own army I can easily setup or join a Warmachine/Hordes campaign.

The question for me is which force to pick? I was surprised when I look into what is available that there were only 4 Horde nations plus mercenaries. I had to remind myself that Hordes is technically only half of the game. Of the four nations I keep coming back to Circle Orboros. Whatever I play in Hordes, that force will be connected to the fluff I've started here on the blog. In thinking about how I want to expand my story, I came up with three ideas I could use a Hordes force. Unfortunately all three ideas would be closest represented by Circle Orboros. Those ideas are a Zifa force, a Fairy/Nature force and a off-shoot of the Shieldmaidens. My first idea for Hordes was a Zifa Winter small force. Zifa has been one of my favorite characters even though most if not all of her material has been deleted here because of cancelled campaigns. She is a chaos sorcerer and apprentice to the Chaos King. Her epithet is Dark Druid and more so than my other characters I envision her army looking quite a bit different than what my collection can show. The downside to me making a Zifa army is that I want to expand my collection beyond chaos and Zifa's Horde army would probably require more than a few conversions. The second option is a brand new army for me. I develop the idea of a nature army while working on the plot of my Holy Moon series. I haven't read the fluff of the Circle Orboros but my guess would be its similar to what I have in mind for my nature army. The third option I beginning to think would not be a very good fit. I'm still working on who and what the Shieldmaidens are and while I can imagine part of the organization could have a druid-like element to it, that would be a reach and takes them in a direction I'm not sure about yet. The reason I pick Circle Orboros for the Shieldmaidens is because the other 3 Hordes nations fit the maidens even less.

I guess with what I've said so far my choice for what to play in Hordes should be obvious. Just need to come up with a name for my fairy/nature army. I did play my first game of Hordes today and I enjoy it very much. I am confident now that Hordes will be a game I can get into though it will be a while before I will have my own army. I did pick up the Circle Orboros 2016 deck so I should have all the stats of every Circle Orboros unit in the game. This will allow me to play with proxies until I am able to purchase an actual force. Plus since I will have the rules and look up model's base sizes, I can kitbash my leftover Chaos stuff to make part of my Zifa army as well. My Zifa army and fairy army will look nothing alike but while I am short on both, I don't mind mixing them up. Let see where Hordes take me!

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Short Update

I'm current working on a few pieces that I had hope would be out soon. An article about my BattleTech Campaign plans, possible new game I'm thinking about getting into, the paint job on my Team Yankee tanks or a Topic of the Week were all things I was working on and had hope at least one of them would be out by now. That didn't happen thanks in part to me getting extremely sick this week. I wasn't able to accomplish anything this week (outside of planning out my National Write a Novel Month novel for this year somehow through delirium). After seeing a doctor today I have manage to recover significantly and hope to release something this weekend. I can only hope because I haven't heal from my illness yet, I'm just feeling much better. Thank you for your interest.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Holy Moon Update

With everything else that I'm working on I felt I need to discuss the reasons why my Holy Moon/Scarlet Nights series hasn't started yet. First and foremost when I decided to do Holy Moon I had very little planned out. I figured that since many of the plot points were going to be decided by the results of game battles, I could just make up the story as I went along. The only things I had worked out was the meaning of the name and concepts of a few main characters that I later work to flesh out. I figure I could just wing it since the result of games would have an affect on the story. I saw myself similar to being a comic book/manga writers that release a new chapter weekly or monthly. But then I realize I was mistaken. Most manga artist probably don't write their stories on the fly. They spend a lot of time developing their story before its starts being release. Sure in many cases the story develops in ways that is either different or in new ways the author didn't initially plan but overall professional writers knows the high points of their story. I know of examples of manga artist putting their work on hiatus so they focus working on their story.

Realizing this, I knew I was unprepared to start writing a serial. Of course I can't have a hard outline of the plot since I want game results to have an impact on the story. However I do need to have a better understanding of my plot elements. In advance I need to know who are the major players in the world that have the potential of appearing in the story and I need to know what are their goals. That way I will have a firm understanding of what the stakes are in each battle as well as know what each side will do next if they win/lose. So on this front I need to do a lot of prep work to make the vision I have for my series work. Prep work I will enjoy doing and now have more time for.

For most of this year Team Yankee has crowded out my other miniature hobbies, which is another reason I haven't done anything with Holy Moon. But now that my podcasting partner is focusing his time on a different project, it doesn't make as much since for me to all my hobby time into Team Yankee at the moment. Which is a little sad with so much movement with Team Yankee as West Germans were just release and British is coming out next month! I didn't expect British to be coming so soon. I'm not completely abandoning Team Yankee as I still have a lot of work to do on my models but since it is unlikely I will be able to play a game of it anytime soon, it is now no longer a focus of me.

Speaking of models that need work, there is one last point I want to make on the Holy Moon delay. I don't limit my imagination to the games I'm playing. Instead I let it run wild and then later try to conform those ideas into a game system. As a result many of the story concepts I want to write about are models that I do not own yet. And the ones that I do are unassembled and/or are not painted. Painting has always been my bane in this hobby. Getting something on the table so I can play has always been my one number priority. Painting has been an important but distance second. But that is not going to work for essentially a miniature comic so I need to overcome my personal insecurities with painting. Getting my sizeable collection fully assembled and painted is not only a must but a start for something new for me as well. Up to this point I never had to consider buying or building terrain. I have always join communities that already had plenty of terrain so their was no need for me to add to it. With the Holy Moon project I now have great need for not only my own terrain but also miniature set pieces you would find in a board game. I can still use the terrain at my local gaming store when I'm playing out the game battles. What I need terrain for is the fiction sections of Holy Moon. Much like a light novel, I want to have a few images to go with my story parts. That means I need appropriate terrain to take pictures of. I'm thinking I will be reusing a handful of locations for these images. Throne room, meeting hall, camp fire and the like. So I don't have to pick up a lot of terrain (at least not immediately) but considering I currently have none this will take some time. And the exact terrain I will need will be depended on where my prep work discuss above will take me. Since this all will take a while, in the mean time I will post pictures of finished Holy Moon models. This will gives myself and anyone interested a sense of progression until Holy Moon is ready to start. Thanks for your interest.