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Topic of the Week - How do you like to play? 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:36 pm
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Location: Belgium, Brussels
Greetings Tyrants.

Today is a light hearted topic, I hope :) We all love tabletop games in one form of another. But when I see the videos online of people playing, or reports, I'm surprised at how differently the game is played. And I don't mean the rules, or the game itself, but how differently people set up the game.

For some people it's crucially important to have a narrative. For others it's all about having a great gaming table. I notice some always have their favourite drink on the side while playing the game.
My buddies and I sometimes fire up battle music in the background, if our location permits that.

I think most of us have their own set of dice, with a colour they prefer. There are stores selling special dice bags, which just shows how peculiar and specific a person's hobby love can get.

So this week it's all about these extras which no rulebook can describe. Do you prefer to gear up for a game with a special dice bag, special dice, story and preferred drink? Will you delay a game until your units are all painted, because you think that's a must have? How important is the look and feel of the table itself or is a kitchen table enough to get you going?
What are the small things around the game itself that you need to feel armed and ready for the game?

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I love me a bowl of numbers to crunch for breakfast. If you need anything theoryhammered, I gladly take requests.

Furnace of Arcana, a warhammer blog with delusional grandeur.

"I move unseen. I hide in light and shadow. I move faster than a bird. No plate of armour ever stopped me. I strike recruits and veterans with equal ease. And all shiver at my coldest of whispers."
- The stiff breeze


Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:32 am
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PhD in Dark Magic
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My armies always need a narrative and names for the characters and units. Having my preferred brew on hand is desirable, but not essential. My army doesn't need to be fully painted, although that's something I'm (very slowly) working towards.

To me, a battle isn't really enjoyable unless there's a story behind it, even if it's only one I've made up for myself. When I play tournaments that give points for fluff, I try to write an explanation for every unit and character into the story. That isn't to say that I need to write about all of them, only that their presence needs to be explained. After all, there's no point descending into the blood and filth of the battlefield against the lesser races unless you have to, right?

For the same reasons, I don't always pick equipment or spell lores that are "optimal", but which do fit the narrative and the character concepts. I've just finished kit-bashing Torhan, the White Lion from some of the End Times stories I'd written. I'm sure he'd have much better options if he didn't have a two-handed axe, but he'd hardly be Torhan if he was built as a tournament-level character. The same deal applies with Malendris (she's likely to use Shadowdancer rules), although I'm having a harder time building her model...

I do have a set of preferred dice when I break out the Druchii, which are purple-black with gold dots. Occasionally they are hard to read, but the choice is appropriate given that purples and golds feature strongly in my army's paint job.

As for 40K... I play Daemonhunters and Harlequins, and have a separate set of dice for them (blue-silver with white dots). The narrative tends to take care of itself in 40K, but there's still room to name units and characters.

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Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:03 am
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Miscast into the Warp
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:07 am
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Games night is pretty much unchanged since I was a teenager. Same group of eight of us, know each other known for 20+ years. More sporadic these days however, more monthly / bi-monthly than the weekly event that it was.

Starts around 6 pm on a Friday with take away and a few drinks. We play through until around eleven, to get a couple of games in each. Room we play in is a friends lounge with a nice open fire going and some music.
Over the years we have gained a fondness for our 'classic' range of terrain and of course the holy gold lozenge tin of polyhedral red and white dice.

After those couple of games we have our traditional walk around the old town walls, through the cemetery and down by the river to get some air. River / cold air and cemetery makes for some nice cinematic walks through the rolling fog :)

We then get back and hit the Rolemaster roleplay system through until breakfast time. A lot of time, blood, sweat and tears have been invested in those characters over the last 20 years, but credit to the GM, he still manages to keep it interesting and all the characters are like family to us now.

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Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:59 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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If I could choose my ideal gaming evening, it would be a gaming night with beer, painted models, nice terrain and even battle music in the background.
Unfortunately, my hobby time limits usually make it devolve into a green mat with half a painted army and books for scenery. But we do get the beer and battle music! :P

_________________
I love me a bowl of numbers to crunch for breakfast. If you need anything theoryhammered, I gladly take requests.

Furnace of Arcana, a warhammer blog with delusional grandeur.

"I move unseen. I hide in light and shadow. I move faster than a bird. No plate of armour ever stopped me. I strike recruits and veterans with equal ease. And all shiver at my coldest of whispers."
- The stiff breeze


Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:28 pm
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Black Guard

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 285
Location: Italy
I enjoy narrative scenarios a la Jervis Johnson (I'm old, you know), or simple pitched battles.
I have a green mat only, but I own an outstanding range of terrain: ruins, fences, woods, hills, rocks, buildings, one 48 inches river, fountains, obelisks, and the like.
I'm starting to create my own pieces: i'm working on an evil DE house, and I'm trying to copy KultofKhaine blood pool.

I usually play at home with old friends of mine (we know each other since eighties - old, I know), and we usually have snacks and drinks. No music.
My armies are never completely painted, as I seem to have no time to complete my new regiments.
But most of them are.
We play in a very relaxed mood, and winning is not the most important thing in the end.

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Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:52 pm
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Chosen Babe of Slaanesh
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:20 pm
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OK a slight bit of thread necromancy here (if only to try to get a bit of activity going again in the forums);

It's been a long time since I had a game, but I'm making it my new years resolution to resurrect the old gaming group (at one time there were around 7-8 of us - currently there are only two others who I think would be interested in making a comeback, but you have to start small and build it up from there)

A lot of the old players sold their armies back in the 7th edition days, but two of those are still in our hands - I have the night goblin army that I spent such a long time painting on behalf of one of the group members. Not sure if he could be persuaded to come back but it's worth a try. Likewise I believe that one of the other two remaining guys has a small-ish TK army aquired cheaply when one of the others bailed out).

Getting new players to join in is incredibly hard now, with a combination of lack of time (everybody has hectic lives these days) and the obscene cost of the models these days.

With this in mind I'm going to try to ease everybody back into it by playing small, skirmish-type games such as Mordheim and/or Frostgrave. If you like this sort of game and don't know about Frostgrave then you should check it out - it's a cool system, similar to Mordheim but with an emphasis on magic, with easy-to-learn rules and the games are relatively short and fun. The best part about Frostgrave though is the models - although the company behind it does produce official miniatures, they are quite happy for players to proxy using whatever models they have, and you only need a small number to get started (the player fields a warband of up to 10 models - though you will need stuff like treasure markers and maybe a few monsters (not necessarily large ones though - even a lone zombie can count as a monster)

In terms of how I like to play, well going back in the day it was invariably a case of playing at home in the lounge or garage. Back then I only had a small table - 5x3 feet, but one of the group had (and I believe still has) a full size 6x4. Everybody who played would bring a bottle for the occasion, reducing the financial burden on the host player (it costs more than enough to collect and paint the models, without buying everybody's drinks as well). The soundtrack would always be some kind of epic music mix (like those 4-hour epic mixes you get on youtube) played through the stereo. Our skaven player used to host the games in his garage during the summer months, which had been decorated in a very rat-like manner, with Skaven symbols hung on the walls, lots of steampunky-looking odds and ends on shelves, heavily weathered photocopies of pages from various Skaven books, and a green-glowing Mark of Nurgle icon which he made from fibreglass in the one corner. (Yeah he plays Nurgle as well - often a combined army of Skaven and Nurgle Chaos - all very yuckily converted).

I think he must also have had some sort of deal with Clan Skyrre too, given the number of insane weapon team conversions he has - including two which look a lot like the doomflayer, built several years before GW released theirs.

As with most private gaming groups (basically just a bunch of friends and friends-of-friends), a lot of the models used were not painted, and occasionally proxied - but that's no problem - it's all about the fun after all. It doesn't matter who wins or loses. What's important is that everybody has a good time :)

Some of us also liked inventing new units for our armies. The Skaven guy is forever creating new weapon teams - I asked him about this the other day and he admits to now having more than 14 different types of weapon teams, all with their own rules - Clan Pestlens weapon team with some kind of horrible Nurgle's Rot gun, for example, converted from Tyranid Devourers - He had a whole line of these - around ten or more - back in the day. He also has Warp Lightning Rifles (rats with Necron Gauss Flayers) along with a bunch of ratling guns, jezzails, poisoned wind mortars etc - all converted - he has never bought a single weapon team from GW in around 25 years of playing the ratmen. If it's ratty/steampunky and has a Nurglish aspect, he probably has a weapon team with it... (not to mention three scratchbuilt Doomwheels and four Screaming Bells - all completely different and unique)

Some of the most fun we've had in Warhammer is creating new and original stuff (for fun - none of this stuff is balanced properly). Long time members of this forum will remember my infamous Dominatrix - Overfiend of Slaanesh (more commonly known among the members as "The Barbiefex", on account of it being built around an old Barbie doll. sadly I no longer have that, but rumours abound that Slaanesh is engaged in the process of spawning a new one as we speak :twisted: )

Oh yeah and then there was the Hellcannon of Slaanesh (also based on a doll) which I sadly never finished, but I still have that so maybe one day I'll be able to worry the guys rats with it :)

Games at my place were played in the lounge, as this is the largest room, and the only one where I could set up the table and still have room to walk around it (the board just sat on top of my dining table). For games, the room was decorated in a somewhat Slaaneshi style (yeah I can tell you're surprised) with purple drapes, chains, hooks and a few odd items of BDSM equipment placed strategically around :) Again, the background music was an epic mix. A lot of people say they don't like background music in games but I think it adds tremendously to the atmosphere - as does subdued lighting (up to a point - nobody wants to play in conditions where you can't read the army books) Flickering elecronic candles look amazing and are safe as well as being fairly cheap (You could light a whole room with them for less money than GW want for a single character model these days!)

A few of the other players also got into the practice of kitting out their gaming room in appropriate style for their armies ready for game night too which was very cool, but as time went on and GW began to price all but the most heavily addicted of us right out of the market, the group started to shrink. Now there are just three left, though hopefully the low cost of entry to smaller games can tempt some of them back.

Personally I love to play large battles with masses of troops, but I think that given the cost of the models these days, this is a mode of play that is dying rapidly - indeed the only people who still have large armies are us veterans - there's no realistic way for a new player, just starting out, to amass 8000 points of Dark Elves, or 10000 points of Skaven. At today's prices, that simply isn't going to happen, which is very sad.

It's not just GW of course - all miniatures are horrendously expensive these days, though GW's prices are another order of magnitude higher than most of the others - £35 for 10 witch elves is nothing short of obscene - the materials cost for a kit like that is just pennies. Yes I know the tooling costs for plastic minis are enormous, but if you sell enough boxes, you cover this. In fact GW has drastically reduced their production costs in recent years, yet consistently failed to pass on any of these savings to their customers. This sort of practice is guaranteed to seriously piss off the customer, just as it does when the energy companies do the same thing... Sadly GW are attempting to make the same profit margins from an ever decreasing customer base by increasing the prices out of all proportion, which is further decreasing the customer base by pricing more and more people out of their market. Couple that with a rubbish new game system which is clearly written for kids - Have you seen the AoS rullebook with its minimal text, large print, double-line spacing and masses of pretty pictures (most of which are very samey anyway) ???

And just four crappy pages of what loosely passes for "rules"

It's pretty difficult to for me to see how GW can survive long term with their current business model, but then I said that ten years ago, when prices were half what they are now, and they're still here, being an ever-present thorn in all our sides. And yet their market is still shrinking. It's a lot smaller now than it has been for years. It cannot continue to shrink indefinitely without exacting a massive price on the company. Their share price is falling and their CEO seems to be steering the ship over the edge of the precipice. For GW to still be around in another ten years, they need to seriously buck up their ideas, engage more with the customers (I hate to break it to you GW, but there is a HUGE community of loyal fans out there who would love to see you be successful if only you'd stop treating us all like crap) and start pricing your products a bit more realistically, perhaps according to how much they cost to produce, rather than how good they are in the game.

Oh yeah - and you need to sack your entire management team and employ some people who a. know what they're doing, and b. give a shiz about their customers.

Still, there are plenty of alternative games systems out there, and loads of other miniature makers. For me though, it's all about the fluff. I play because of the rich background story that has built up over the last 30 years or so. OK they have decided that this amazing old fluff is dead and buried, which is their way of sticking two fingers up at the loyal customer base. GW is a company that even its most loyal fans despise with a vengeance.

But I don't care anymore.

I really don't - because I already know the old fluff. I love it and I don't believe the new stuff - it's not true - it's just heresy. If and when I get the group back up and running properly again, we certainly won't be playing Age of Shitmar - None of those I've talked to about it have any love for the new system. We all think it's complete crap - a cyncical, lazy 40K-lite with fantasy space marines. WTF GW???, and looking at some of the posts on here and in other forums, not to mention the anti-Sigmar stuff on Youtube, it seems that we're not alone, so we'll be playing with the rulebooks we already have - mostly 6th edition, with maybe a few of the best bits from 7th mixed in. That said, the 9th Age project is doing a superb job at building a proper 9th edition for WFB (without the GW fluff of course - but that's really immaterial, as any long-time Druchii player is still going to talk about their army as being "Dark Elves" rather than "Dread Elves" - we all know it's the same thing. I'm looking forward to reading the 9th Age DE fluff though, to see how closely it fits with my own fluff sensibilities - it it doesn't measure up then I'll just carry on with the Warhammer fluff. After all, the End Times never happened as far as I'm concerned (especially as I was on my gaming hiatus while that anti-fluff travesty was being concocted by the monkey scribes at GW)

And for us veteran gamers who already have our armies and a lot of the old army and fluff books, we don't really need to buy much from GW. We're very happy with the stuff and the fluff we already have. Yes we may occasionally give in to temptation and buy a new model (very rare these days), but we have no need to buy whole armies anymore. We just don't need GW anymore. (Maybe that's why they hate us so much)



In the grim darkness of the future, there are only alternatives to GW

Anyway, sorry if this post has turned into an anti-GW rant, but there you go. Ultimately it's supposed to be fun. It always used to be and hopefully we can make it fun again...

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Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nighmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever


Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:22 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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I will not field unpainted minis. I also require "real" terrain and scenery.

I also will not play without a typed and printed army list - I don't go for handwritten nonsense that nobody can read. I'm not super strict on WYSIWYG, but a unit needs to be easily recognizable as what it is supposed to be. I don't get on a guy for his general having a greatsword instead of a lance, but I will have an issue with somebody fielding a unit of human peasants and saying those are High Elf Longbows.

I like playing scenarios with backstories, but that is not required. I like playing long campaigns too. I've been in some epic ones that spanned over a year. But that isn't a requirement either.

Other than that, pretty much anything goes.

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Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:37 pm
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Warrior
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-My own dice, purple with gold spots of course!
-Combat calculator laid out neatly with the little score pegs corralled in the dice box.
-Army books and paperback rules in easy reach with spell cards neatly placed behind the sorceress models.
-Pot of superglue handy as I'm supernaturally clumsy.
-Beer!
-Tablet with warscrolls within reach if I can't avoid AoS.
-Proper scenery preferred.
-I always field fully painted models but I don't mind at all if other people don't.
-I've gone a bit WYSIWYG (To the point where I've bought shields to put on my darkshards backs!) However other people can proxy what they like I'm totally OK with that too.
-Any game that is not full of laughter and banter is not a success as far as I'm concerned, regardless if I win or not.
-If I particularly hammer my opponent I always feel guilty and commiserate, not very Druchii I know! (Although one of the group once bought a bloodthirster to a 1100pt game and I murdered it with a bolt thrower, that was bloody sweeeeet!)
-I never play to WAAC and feel an interesting theme and trying out different builds is more satisfying.


Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:13 pm
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