Podcasts

Guild Ball is the game of medieval fantasy football from Steamforged Games. The Century War has wracked the land, and all that forges the fractious nations of the new Empire together is the blood-sport of Guild Ball, brought together by the scheming Guilds. Will you play the slippery Fishermen, the arcane Alchemists, or the suspicious Union? Read some articles, listen to some podcasts, watch some videos, and maybe you’ll find out which is best for you!

Secrets of the True Law – “Fixing” Vindictus

Posted by on 12:30 pm

Ahh, Vindictus. Few warcasters are subject to such intensely divided opinions as the man in the (egg) suit. When I first looked at Vindictus, I was puzzled how anyone could hate a caster that can turn a Throne of Everblight into a Zealot. Yes, his feat is heavily matchup-dependent. Yes, he’s not exactly the best “closer” in with his wimpy non-reach P+S12 weapons. But seriously, Vindictus is so bad-ass he can convince a 50-foot tall tentacle horror to bow down and throw bombs in the name of the Lawgiver. Oh, and he’s got possibly the best defensive buff in the game, Defender’s Ward, and possibly the best infantry mobility buff in the game, True Path. He’s also got two feats, though the second one is a little subtle but highly relevant (more on that later). What else could you possibly need? Well, if we’re being honest and truthful (and anything else is punishable by wracking, immolation, or both), Vindictus lacks any accuracy buffs or damage buffs. He also doesn’t do very much for non-warrior models, namely Warjacks. Fortunately, we have ample opportunities to fix that. What follows is a list of things that I find indispensable in virtually every Vindictus list I construct. They are the core of the engine that makes him work as a competitive warcaster. Monolith Bearer You’re taking a unit of Zealots with a Monolith Bearer. No, I don’t care if the event is Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw, just promise your TO that Monolith Bearers are actually Light Warjacks (don’t actually do this – see my earlier note on truthfulness and wracking). Got a unit in your list? Good, now let’s talk about why that was a fantastic decision. You see, the second feat I alluded to earlier directly involves these guys. The feat may as well read, “For one round, Vindictus cannot be damaged by ranged attacks.” You can accomplish this feat fairly simply by leaving one or two Zealots within 3″ of Vindictus with Greater Destiny active. I usually use the Monolith Bearer just because he’s usually lagging behind the others, but any member will do. Anytime your enemy is foolish enough to directly hit Vindictus with a ranged attack, Sacrifical Pawn the attack off to the Zealot, who will take no damage. Then chuckle to yourself heartily and say four prayers to Menoth as thanks for His protection. That’s basically the sum of what Zealots do for Vindictus, but don’t worry, he also does a lot for them. You see, in the Protectorate there is one and only one buff to the effective range of Zealot bombs – True Path. Zealots directly threaten models 13″ away under True Path, and can threaten further with fortunate scatters. They can also mini-feat and run an impressive 14″ in order to screw with your opponents’ plans. They can also advance straight through Forests, Rough Terrain, Shallow Water, and anything else that might give them trouble – allowing them to get the jump on otherwise faster units. They’re also dangerous to just about anything, especially if buffed in any manner (see below). High Defense infantry generally do not like POW8 blasts that cannot deviate far enough to miss. High Armor infantry generally do not like being directly hit by POW14 bombs with crit fire. Finally, nobody but nobody likes...

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PwMJ Memorial Day Extravaganza!

Posted by on 7:00 am

Well…to be completely honest this episode has little to do with Memorial Day.  My intrepid co-host Adam and I discuss all manner of things at least tangentially associated with painting, boardgames, CoC, and who knows what else.   I think my show needs a format…at least some sort of a format.   If you like it…like the show on Facebook HERE or subscribe to the YouTube Channel HERE...

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How to Train your Warjack: Affordances

Posted by on 8:24 am

“Warjacks can’t really perform some of the simplest mathematical equations done by a calculator, yet can intuitively grasp the physics of the world by similar instincts as we use when catching a ball or throwing one. They are most certainly not adding machines” This week, I’m going to talk about affordances. The concept of affordances is foundational to the radical embodied cognitive science viewpoint I spoke about last week. In the traditional informational processing account of perception, raw information hits our perceptual system, is coded into mental representations, then processed by a series of algorithms, and that process produces instructions for action. Under the RECS model, mental represenations are not necessary to explain action – they write a different story of how our perception works. This account heavily informs my thinking on steamjack cognition, and also sheds some light on the distinctions between warjacks and labourjacks. From the RECS perspective, the things which we perceive are affordances. We don’t perceive raw information, per se. Instead, relations between the organisms and the environment are perceived, in terms of opportunities for action. Organisms attend to only the specific information that tells them how they can act in relation to the object/situation in front of them. Organisms then couple to the actionable information to form a task-solving system (For example, in the outfielder problem described last week, the person is coupled to the movement of the ball across his visual field and its velocity relative to his movement). In simple terms, this means that organisms perceive information on (for example) the throwability of an object rather than the raw information about its weight and aerodynamics – throwability is a composite of that information, and the body is calibrated to perceive the composite info rather than perceiving the components and calculating a complex equation. Another thing to note is that this kind of perception is dynamic, in the sense that we perceive that information by acting in relation to it. The outfielder couldn’t use the information about the ball’s movement to catch it without also moving himself. We can’t perceive throwability without hefting the object in our hand. The way we act in relation to the world is how we perceive it, and we perceive the ways in which we can act in relation to it. It’s gorgeously complex in practice, elegantly simple in theory. Gives me nerdy goosebumps. The fallout of this type of perception that is relevant to our discussion of ‘jacks is the fact that the dimensions of your body determine what information you perceive. ‘Jacks with stunty legs perceive/move differently over rough terrain than crabjacks would. Furthermore, with regard to tool use, we seem to be able to perceive affordances as if the tool were an extension of our bodies (assuming we’re practiced in its use). The tools jacks use are a fundamental part of how they think, act, and perceive. In essense, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I think that this gives a good sense of how steamjacks’ personalities will develop. Labourjacks will primarily want to interact with the world by moving things around. Jacks with drill or chainsaw tools will break down problems and move them out of the way. They will approach problems as work, and take a slow and steady, reductive approach when left to work out the details of a task. Even in combat, a labourjack would...

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The Kill Box Episode #4

Posted by on 8:13 am

In this episode we talk about expanding the Cygnar Battlebox into a 50pt list. We also go over power attacks and when it’s time to start headbuttin’ or slammin’! Stay tuned at the end for a new segment we call “5 Minutes with”. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:10:01 — 128.2MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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MoM’s Podcast #56 – A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast

Posted by on 8:06 am

  MoM’s Podcast #56 — A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast Topics:   Timestamps: 0:01:50 = News and Announcements 0:03:15 = NQ Spoilers 0:28:40 = New Players (Perseverance) 1:01:25 = Dojo 1:43:45 = Lightning Round   Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:14:00 — 61.3MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Bringing the Retribution: The Hardcore Formula

Posted by on 6:00 am

Today I would like to discuss one of the greatest challenges in tournament play. No, not painting all your models, as daunting as that can be for some of us. I would like to discuss the Hardcore format. With Die Con fast approaching, many of the Midsouth Gaming crew is refining both their Hardcore lists as well as their playing.  After working through a couple of different lists, I thought I would take some time to break down how Retribution works in Hardcore and show a few lists that I think work well for the format. A note before I go on: since I am practicing for the 50 pt Die Con Hardcore tourney, this article is going on the assumption you are playing at that point level. Things are radically different for Retribution at the 35pt level with assassination being a better bet then attrition at that point. As many of you know, Hardcore does not follow the standard Steamroller format. Instead, it focuses on quick play and caster assassination. This includes having a scenario that forces armies into the middle as well as shorter turns with no extensions. Because of this format, armies are generally tailored toward three distinct groups: Assassination, Brick, and Attrition. Retribution plays the assassination game very well. With the Mage Hunter Strike Force on the forefront of a slew of great assassination units, it is nearly impossible to keep a caster from feeling the Rets hatred of foreign magic. Several of our casters are also geared toward this sort of game play. Retribution can also play attrition well. Stormfall Archers, Sentinels, and a few of our Jacks, notably the Daemon and Phoenix, can really tear through enemy troops. The one thing that the Retribution cannot do is Brick. With no multi-wound infantry and only a few units that can gain a high enough Arm to be effective, Retribution just doesn’t have the staying power to keep themselves on the field till dice down. With that in mind, I would like to discuss Assassination first.  Most Retribution assassination lists are going to have one thing in common: a unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force. This is both good and bad. The good reflects mostly in the power of the unit which I won’t go into to much detail here.[1] Safe to say they are a strong assassination tool, particularly because they can cut through a lot of things that block normal runs such as lack of LOS. They have the potential to kill a warcaster with only a few welled placed shots. The bad is that everyone and their mothers know what the Mage Hunter Strike Force can do. They can be countered a number of ways, none of which are too difficult to pull off. Concentrated blast fire or a fast jamming unit pretty much ends any shenanigans that you might get up too. Not only that but MHSF are also incredibly less effective against Warlocks. The ability to transfer and the fact that the Arcane Assassin rule does not ignore animi makes most assassination attempts a long shot. All that being said, if you are planning on getting the coveted assassination award, then they are a solid choice. You don’t need to win every single game you play to be the greatest...

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Road to War Episode 30- A Warmachine & Hordes podcast

Posted by on 8:40 pm

Road to War This week we talk about the practice weekend! Email us questions at aroadtowar@gmail.com or on twitter at @roadtowar Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:19:25 — 36.4MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Baffo’s Sculpting Table 09 – Urban Shifting stones

Posted by on 11:22 am

  In my last article I’ve shown the Ghetorix conversion that pretty much got me to start collecting Circle, but since I have to be a ‘unique snowflake’, I went for the counterintuitive ‘urban theme’. That said Ghetorix has more of a tribal feel to it (due to the extensive use of bone armor and trophies) and the only ‘urban’ element on my model is the base. It will be the same for all my living beasts and the more savage solos/units, since no matter how you look at it, they would never blend in an urban environment and if they are on paved streets, it means they are attacking the city, or at least that is the idea… However Circle isn’t a uniformed faction and there are more subtle and sneaky followers of the Devourer, that could infiltrate the cities of men to sabotage factories, spread plagues or smuggle military assets in preparation for future attacks and this is where the ‘Urban theme’ can go beyond sculpted bases: the constructs. It seems perfectly plausible for me that Circle would infiltrate the towns and forts around the Thornwood to set up contingency plans in case it becomes necessary to openly attack these fortified locations. The linchpin of such operation would undoubtedly be having camouflaged Shifting stones within said cities to teleport troops and other constructs behind enemy lines if needed. Ordinary Shifting stones are basically just very ornate small obelisks with glowing runes. They can look like oriental stone lamps and considering real world history, it seems plausible that in the Iron kingdoms there would be at least a few nobles and merchants that fancy themselves as ‘art collectors’, who would import (both legally and through the black market) such exotic artifacts and show them off in their mansions and gardens.   Sculpt As usual we first have to prepare a core of plastic to put the green stuff on (not to use so much of the expensive epoxy), which is in this case just a simple square 5mm tall column on a base. For this keep in mind that you will add to this shape roughly 1 mm of modeling putty on each side, so think in advance how wide you want your custom Shifting stone to be and make the plastic core 2 mm thinner to compensate. Once the core is ready I started by sculpting the floor pattern I am using for the sidewalks on my urban bases (the irregular shaped stone slabs), while leaving a section of the base empty, to later add grass (representing them being at the edge between a park and the street). The next step is to texturize the column. Start by putting a small drop of super glue on each side of the plastic core and wrap it with a thin strap of fresh green stuff. Then take a thick piece of flat plastic card lubricated with water or oil (so it doesn’t stick to the putty) and flatten all 4 sides to get an evenly spread flat layer on your pillar (keep in mind that when you press on the putty, it will bulge out at the corners of the surface, so you will have to go around pressing all 4 sides and re-flattening the ‘spilling’ on the corners...

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Crippled System Episode 23: The Wrath of Spoiler!

Posted by on 5:56 pm

Cast: Andy W, Nathan H, Brian G, Jeremy S, Katie S SPOILER ALERT: we do talk in detail on the new Star Trek Movie. Lots of Star Trek talk, Tourney recap, Morvahnna2 talk, Katies Korner, More Star Trek talk, recommendations. Timestamps: 00:00 – Introductions 03:48 – Star Trek discussion (Into Darkness, Voyager, Deep Space 9, etc.) 20:07 – Nathan insults Denzel Washington 22:19 – Tournament recap 25:52 – We go back to discussing Star Trek 36:51 – Jeremy’s error 42:50 – Morvhanna 2 discussion 58:14 – Golf / disc golf talk 61:55 – Katie’s Korner: Fundamental Changes 79:46 – Recommendations email us at podcast@crippledsystem.com Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow @CrippledSystem Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:37:06 — 66.7MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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How to Train your Warjack: Embodied Cogs

Posted by on 10:53 am

“Warjacks can’t really perform some of the simplest mathematical equations done by a calculator, yet can intuitively grasp the physics of the world by similar instincts as we use when catching a ball or throwing one. They are most certainly not adding machines” Embodied cognition is one of the most interesting developments in 21st century psychology. And from reading the above words from Doug Seacat, I wonder if he’s read any Gibson (not the one of Neuromancer fame). But if not, it’s just an interesting coincidence that got me interested enough in warjack cognition to run a game that centres around it. The basic ideas underlying REC (Radical Embodied Cognition) are 1) Perception and Action are coupled together forming a single system 2) No internal representations are neccesary for cognition 3) We perceive the world in terms of affordances, in terms of opportunities for action. Traditional cogntive psychology holds that our brains are constantly running an internally represented simulation of the world that allows us how to predict how it will behave, and thus guide our action towards it. REC rejects this formulation, saying that if our perceptual apparatus and behaviour is coupled to the right kind of information to solve the task, then we don’t need a complex physics simulator in our brains. There are two excellent examples of this approach that are wonderfully relevant to Warjacks. One is The Outfielder Problem which is sorta alluded to in Doug’s words above – how do we go about catching a ball? The second is the Watt centrifugal governer, which is pleasantly relevant since it was invented in the industrial revolution. In the outfielder problem, our acting organism is an outfielder in baseball, tasked with catching a baseball flying off the hitter’s bat. The traditional cognitive science explanation for this behaviour is a computational one – that we have complex symbolic representations of the world in our minds which run a physics simulator. This simulator takes information about the initial velocity and initial angle of the baseball, assumes constant ball size and shape, assumes constant gravity and air drag (since we can’t perceive those things), and calculates a prediction for the final landing place of the ball, and directs him to run to that point. Perception-> Computation -> Solution -> Action. The REC solution is quite different. It suggests that our perception and action systems are coupled with the appropriate information needed to solve the task without internal, symbolic computation being necessary. The outfielder can solve this task by changing his movement (running) such that the ball appears to be moving at a constant velocity relative to him, and/or such that the ball appears to be moving in a straight line relative to him. This type of movement will bring the outfielder to the right place to catch without ever needing to predict anything. This type of solution is active and dynamic, and has information that allows Outfielder to make adjustments to his movement as he goes – if the ball appears to be moving faster than him, speed up, if it appears to be arcing, change the curvature of your movement – and these adjustments only require perceiving information that is easily perceived by the optical array, as opposed to requiring a complex physics simulation that makes a lot of assumptions. Warjacks, like humans, are not calculating machines with regard to phsyics....

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