Archive for October, 2013

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So I finally played my first game of High Command. Since I had my knee surgery I have been pretty much homebound and going more than a little stir crazy. I was able to get out to one Warmachine tourney and had a great time, but also paid dearly for it for a few days after.

Shep decided to take pity on me and visit during my convalescence and though I tried to cajole him into a game of Warmachine (I’m not an addict, really) but he pushed hard for High Command and I am glad he did.
If you aren’t familiar with it, High Command is a Deck Building card game. I’ve never played this kind of game before and it seemed pretty confusing. There are 2 different decks for each player, two shared decks, different cards in different places. It honestly seemed a bit overwhelming from just reading the rules and watching the overview on Privateer Press’s youtube channel.
That being said, we decided to just go for it rather than trying the quick start rules because we were looking to kill the evening anyway.
It took us a few round to really get the hang of it, but once we did the game was super fun. There seems to be a fair bit of strategy in what cards to buy early vs. which ones to buy later in the game (duh, I guess that is what the deck building means).
I played Khador and Shep played Cygnar since those are our main factions and we were curious to see how they matched up. I am not going to give a play by play, but it was pretty cool how similar it felt. We each only used a single warcaster’s feat during the course of the game – I used Vlad to rush a juggernaut out to let me clear a zone and Shep used Siege to kill a devastator and claim a zone.
We ended up really fighting over every single location and neither of us really tried spreading out our forces. It was just bloody knuckles all the way through. The cards are really nice to look at and the game felt quick and strategic. We did have some confusion with some of the card abilities – for instance, after a battle with the Greylord Ternion Korps (or whatever they are called) if the opponent has any cards they have to discard one. We weren’t sure if that meant one of the cards from the location or from the hand/bank. After a lot of searching we decided that it probably meant from the location and that maybe the difference between destroyed and discarded in that instance meant that destroyed the opponent picked, and discarded meant that you got to pick? The problem was the same language about discard was on one of the Cygnar jacks (the Charger I think) but it clearly meant discard from your hand (I think) to give his pieces +1 POW.
A little bit of ambiguity aside, the game was REALLY enjoyable and I look forward to playing it a lot more. I am also super glad that I added the Junior Warcaster cards from the Kickstarter – it will be fun to get them in there as well.
So yeah, if you haven’t played High Command yet, I recommend it. Our guess is that it will likely end up taking 30-45 minutes once both players know what they are doing. The game is fast and fun, and a nice break from Warmachine/Hordes that keeps you in the setting (which is one that I enjoy immensely).
Edited to add – we were doing the drawing at the completely wrong time during the turn – we were doing it at the start of the turn, rather than as the final step before the Battle Phase. Oops.

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So the World Team Championship for Warmachine and Hordes just wrapped up over the weekend. Congratulations to Poland’s Red team for taking home 1st prize at the inaugural event. It seemed like a great success all around. USA Team Blue also deserves kudos with their impressive 2nd place finish and rounding out the top 3 is Prime Sweden. Congrats to all of the teams.

I have gathered the rough Khador specific stats and dropped them here. I have a couple of caveats – first off it being a team event and the specifics of the way matchups went the lists are built to fill holes in teams rather than all be all comers. For this reason, I am trying not to read too much into the stats, but rather just kind of taking in the variety and how well they performed in their given match ups. My friend @kriegspiele has the full lists over at his blog as well as some of his own analysis so I am not going to copy all of the lists here, just tell him I sent you 😉

Now with that wishy washy disclaimer out of the way here are the stats:

Final Overall Khador WTC Record: 24/36 (I count both results when khador on khador)

Round 1 (1-11)
Harkevich vs. Caine2 (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher vs. Mordikaar (L) – Caster Kill
Irusk vs. Feora2 (L) – Scenario
Skarre vs. Vlad2 (L) – Caster Kill
Old Witch vs. Kaelyssa (L) – Scenario
Vlad3 vs. Haley2 (L) – Caster Kill
Feora2 vs. Butcher2 (L) – Caster Kill
Harbinger vs. Karchev (L) – Deathclock
Borka vs. Vlad2 (W) – Caster Kill
Butcher2 vs. Vayl2 (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher3 vs. Harbinger (L) – Caster Kill
Vayl2 vs. Strakhov (L) – Caster Kill

Round 2 (7-5)
Cassius vs. Sorscha2 (L) – Scenario
Harkevich vs. Deneghra (L) – Scenario
Irusk2 vs. Haley (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher2 vs. Harbinger (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher3 vs. Feora2 (W) – Caster Kill
Sorscha2 vs. Haley2 (W) – Scenario
Butcher vs. Fiona (W) – Caster Kill
Kromac vs. Butcher3 (W) – Caster Kill
Irusk vs. Makeda2 (W) – Caster Kill
Sorscha vs. Sorscha2 (W/L) – Caster Kill
Butcher2 vs. Skarre (W) – Caster Kill

Round 3 (8-4)
Butcher2 vs. Kreuger (L) – Scenario
Borka vs. Butcher (L) – Scenario
Butcher2 vs. Ravyn (W) – Scenario
Vyros vs. Butcher (L) – Caster Kill
Rahn vs. Irusk (W) – Caster Kill
Butcher2 vs. Cassius (W) – Scenario
Butcher2 vs. Deneghra (W) – Caster Kill
Damiano vs. Butcher3 (W) – Scenario
Vlad2 vs. Caine2 (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher3 vs. Asphyxious2 (W) – Scenario
Sorscha2 vs. Caine2 (W) – Caster Kill
Makeda2 vs. Sorscha2 (W) – Scenario

Round 4 (4-8)
Asphyxious2 vs. Butcher2 (W) – Scenario
Ravyn vs. Vlad2 (L) – Caster Kill
Haley vs. Sorscha (L) – Scenario
Harbinger vs. Irusk2 (W) – Caster Kill
Terminus vs. Butcher2 (L) – Caster Kill
Old Witch vs. Ravyn (L) – Scenario
Sorscha2 vs. Skarre (L) – Deathclock
Grim2 vs. Vlad2 (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher vs. Ravyn (L) – Scenario
Butcher3 vs. Vayl2 (W) – Scenario
Madrak vs. Butcher (W) – Caster Kill
Old Witch vs. Feora2 (L) – Deathclock

Round 5 (4-8)
Morvahna2 vs. Butcher2 (L) – Caster Kill
Haley vs. Sorscha (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher2 vs. Caine2 (W) – Scenario
Butcher3 vs. Doomshaper (W) – Caster Kill
Terminus vs. Sorscha2 (L) – Caster Kill
Deneghra vs. Butcher3 (L) – Caster Kill
Butcher vs. Morvahna2 (W) – Scenario
Vlad2 vs. Deneghra2 (W) – Caster Kill
Harkevich vs. Sloan (L) – Caster Kill
Terminus vs. Butcher2 (L) – Caster Kill
Irusk vs. Damiano (L) – Caster Kill
Sorscha2 vs. Lylyth2 (L) – Caster Kill

And by caster below. Also, I am not going to do by individual player.

Harkevich – (0-3)
Butcher – (3-4)
Irusk – (2-2)
Vlad2 – (2-4)
Old Witch – (0-3)
Vlad3 – (0-1)
Butcher2 – (6-7)
Karchev – (0-1)
Butcher3 – (6-2)
Strakov – (0-1)
Sorscha2 – (3-5)
Sorscha – (1-2)
Irusk2 – (1-1)

And here is how we won or lost our games.

Caster Kill – (14-24)
Scenario – (10-9)
Deathclock – (0-3)

So, some initial thoughts are, ouch. It was a rough time for Khador. Now as I said above, the format is kind of wonky and who knows why they were building them the way they were. Many of the favored teams going in to the tourney didn’t even HAVE a khador player on the roster. Poland Red, who won, did. In fact, they had a crazy Karchev/AK build list. I have to temper the excitement of that, though, and point out that the Khador player on Poland Red went 1-4. Now he could have been there to take the tough draws that no one else wanted, and so contributed to his team’s overall win which he did do.

What does this mean for Khador as a whole? Well, we generally do decently in the local metas, and on the big stage tend to underperform. There are as many ideas as to why that is as there are Khador players. Not surprisingly, I have my own thoughts.

I think that Khador as a faction tends to be pretty straightforward. We can build our lists in a number of different ways and the power level between our strongest and weakest choices is generally not a huge divide. That means that we can play most casters and most units and many of us do that. A faction like Cygnar or Legion of Everblight, for instance, has a much bigger difference between a caster like Haley2 and Darius or Saeryn and Rhyas. The same divide exists within the units and jack choices as well. I personally believe that the true net benefit of that, is not that the units/casters/jacks are so much better than what we have in Khador, but the table time is significantly higher in those other factions since you kind of HAVE to play them. In this game table time and experience will ALWAYS trump list selection. In an improbably ridiculous hypothetical 6 caster divide and conquer tourney, for instance, I would put my money on Khador every time.

I am really looking forward to some more in-depth analysis of specific faction/caster matchups and the coverage that will be on endgamegaming.net – it should be a lot of fun to analyze each of the faction’s individual performances as well as the different faction caster’s performances.

My take away from this since I am wanting to do well on the national level at cons is that I really need to decide what I want to play with, and stick with it and get that table time and experience and be able to know each unit’s capabilities inside and out. Now this is something I was leaning toward already so it could just be confirmation bias but I am really going to work hard at narrowing my options and going with a very limited selection of choices. Look for my next few posts to be in line with the Master’s Plan I mentioned in an earlier post but not necessarily those lists. Butcher3 really brings some exciting changes and possibilities and I would like to see how he pairs.