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We love all sorts of games at Muse! Our big focus is on miniatures gaming, but we enjoy cardgames, boardgames, video games…all sorts of games in fact! So do our content producers, we have some fantastic articles, podcasts and videos which will show you how these games are played, and maybe give you some ideas for what to pick up next!

Meta crunch 02 – AAW 2012 Tournament recap

Posted by on 1:12 pm

In my last article (http://museonminis.com/meta-crunch-01-prepping-for-aaw-2012/) I described my list building and prep work for Agram Arena Winter 2012, so today I will present the battle reports of my games at my first foreign SR tournament since the start of Mk2 (warning: it is a pretty long article). The morning of the event: We arrived at the venue roughly one hour before the Steam roller started, so we had time to meet with the other players and get up to date with some changes from the rules pack and schedule posted on their forums… For starters the Serbs didn’t show up, dropping us to 8 players (the tourney was kept to 4 rounds though), three of which were Khadorans, one Cryx, Retribution and Circle generals, plus my Cygnar and Legion buddies. When we started unpacking our models, we noticed none of the locals had their armies painted and found out it has been decided not to enforce fully painting requirements (although they were in the rules pack for the event); too bad we didn’t know that beforehand, since in that case one of our local Troll players would have come along. Lastly we discovered that the fourth round scenario (Bunkers) would not actually use reinforcements, which changed the dynamic of the flank deployment and scenario quite a bit. Anyway they told us we could modify our lists if we wanted to move in models used in the reinforcements, but my ‘corrected lists’ stayed pretty much the same: Vlad, the Dark prince (-5) –          Conquest (19) Gun carriage (9) Battle mechanics – min unit (2) Lady Ayanna & master Holt (4) –          Koldun captain Vlachev (2) Widowmakers (4)   Kommander Sorscha (-5) –          Behemoth (13) –          Sylyss Wishnalyrr, the Seeker (2) Gun carriage (9) Gun carriage (9) Widowmakers (4) Eyryss, Angel of Retribution (3) Anyway, the pairings for the first round came out and I already had reason to feel down… Round 1 (Restoration): Vs. Ivan Knezovič (Cryx) Out of the 7 possible opponents I got the match up I least wanted to see: two Cryx infantry swarms (satyxys raiders, mech thralls and banes) with pDenny and pSkarre at the helm. Wonderful! Anyway looking at the lists I expected my opponent to pick pDenny, so I went with the list I had more experience with: pVlad. The list he picked was: Warwitch Deneghra (-5) –          Nightmare (10) –          Deathripper (4) –          Defiler (5) –          Skarlock thrall (2) Mechani thralls – max unit (5) Necrosurgeon and Stitch thralls (2) Satyxis raiders – max unit + UA (10) Warwitch siren (2) I won the roll and opted to go first. In the picture you can see roughly how we deployed and what the board looked like. Turn 1: With Signs & portents and widowmakers I managed to kill 3 satyxis before they got to activate, while rushing the rest of my army forward. He on the other hand ran his raiders to engage my snipers and repositioned his forces to threaten my huge bases. Turn 2: Ok, I had to get rid of the satyxis before they started causing real problems. I first freed my widowmakers with Valachev’s magical spray and concentrated my remaining small arms fire at the sea witch (Holt and widowmakers), then used the gun carriage to charge, knock down...

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MoM’s Podcast #35 – A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast

Posted by on 9:43 am

MoM’s Podcast #35 — A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast Topics: Time Stamps: 0:02:00 – News and Announcements 0:27:10 – Dojo 1:37:40 – Building a Hardcore List 1:57:35 – Muse on Mail        Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:28:55 — 68.2MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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The Key to Next Leveling: LOTG

Posted by on 5:26 pm

This article is a mid/high level article on the concept of “Next Leveling” and how to incorporate the concept into your view of Warmachine and Hordes effectively. Next Leveling is a term that I first heard from the MoM gents, but the notion is something that I’ve been familiar with for years.  Next leveling means that you’re trying to stay one step ahead of the trends in the national meta-game.  The example given on a recent podcast was that MoM predicts Steamroller 2013 rules will cause the national meta-game to shift toward more durable and mid-line casters.  The “next level” insight would be to go into the assassination casters, based on that prediction. People try to “next level” in various industries as well.  Professional “next leveling” can make you a fortune.  I’ve talked about the value of preempting your opponent in a few prior articles, but this time I want to break into some modeling.  Finance is probably the most notable field where people can “next level”.  Here, you’re predicting where the market (essentially a financial meta-game) is moving. One way to try and set up predictions to the market is to base your guess on linked variables (indicators).  By example; droughts are hard on crop yield.  If the United States has a huge drought, the price of crops like corn is likely to go up.  This makes presence of drought a leading variable to corn prices. So why don’t people make tons of money doing that?  Because everyone keeps an eye out for things like this and the market self-corrects almost instantaneously.  A few dry days instant impact the futures market for corn and as a result, public information like this is rarely profitable.  The friction of investing/divesting is only overcome in large trades on an incredible short time-scale.  Thankfully, that’s the sign of a good efficient capital market.  You can’t cheat the market with public knowledge.  Good. The opposite of a leading variable is a lagging variable.  I’m sure you can guess how that works. Another more subtle example of a leading variable is the likes of teenage girls (LOTG).  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s a pretty well established phenomena.  I want you to go searching around in your head for things that ONLY teenage girls liked for a year or two that are now everywhere you look. Examples of LOTG at work; Twitter (I think Ashton helped this one along Justin Bieber Vampire TV/Movies/Books Facebook Instagram I’ve got some very big news for you gamers out there.  Privateer Press is riding the LOTG wave as well.  I’ve pulled up a few numbers and you wouldn’t believe what I’ve found.  The graph below shows that PhatAsian’s LOTG score almost perfectly correlates to Privateer Press revenues as a 2-3 month leading variable.  As a result, the more and more popular PhatAsian gets, the bigger and bigger the Warmachine casual community will become. I was shocked at first by the accuracy of the results.  Then, as I thought about it a little more, it all started to make this strange kind of sense.  How long ago was WMW?  Didn’t PhatAsian experience a burst in LOTG as a result of his signing booth?  How long ago was MoM talking about the increase in causal players?  Are they linked? ...

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Crippled System Episode 3

Posted by on 11:21 pm

  Episode 3 Introz Why we chose to play.. How to Deal: Colossals New models discussions Katies Korner Recommendations Hosts: Nathan and Andy Guests: Brian G, Jeremy S and Katie S Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:42:28 — 70.4MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Secrets of the True Law – Unleash the Fire of Salvation

Posted by on 8:33 pm

I’ve said a lot about the Protectorate’s stable of shooting warjacks, but occasionally the best way to serve the Creator isn’t versatility, it’s raw melee hitting power. The Protectorate’s arsenal of melee warjacks is no less impressive than the shooting gallery – featuring the resilience of the Templar, the efficiency of the Sanctifier, the economy of the Crusader, or simply the incredible hitting power offered by the Avatar of Menoth. I feel that there’s one warjack in particular that often goes overlooked when considering a melee heavy – Fire of Salvation. Eternally relegated to Grand Exemplar Kreoss’s theme forces and never given a second glance, he is the hidden gem in the Protectorate’s arsenal. His hitting power is second only to the Avatar, his accuracy is unmatched, and under the right circumstances, his threat range is absolutely unparalleled. Sounds like a great deal, right? Let’s break him down, part by part, and see how we can use him to our advantage. Base Stats Our star of the day starts with the basic stats of a Crusader – including the Inferno Mace and Open Fist, with a couple of exceptions. His MAT is increased by 1, resulting in a healthy MAT9 when buffed by the Choir. His SPD is also higher by a point, which is key to getting up the field quickly. At a run, he will outpace a Crusader by 2″ per turn. His Mace, “Absolver,” absolves whatever it hits of being not on fire. This is rarely relevant, as most things that eat a P+S20 mace are usually in too many pieces to care about being on fire, but it’s a nice bonus if you fail to kill a Warcaster or Warlock, or fall short on a heavy by a point or two. The bottom line is that what Fire gets to, he will kill. With a standing threat range of 8.5″, getting him there would be an issue, if not for… Righteous Vengeance This ability comes first and foremost because it’s what makes Fire the best at what he does. You’ll rarely be able to make the bonus attack, but the 5″ move – in any direction you want – bumps Fire’s potential threat range up to 13.5″ – one of the longest in the game without outside assistance. It’s by far the longest in the Protectorate, beating out the 10″ of the Reckoner and Avatar. Start bumping this up, and things can become quite ridiculous fast. Feora’s Escort and Amon’s Mobility can increase it to 15.5″ with no effort. Intercessor Kreoss bumps it to 16.5″ if you can set off Warpath. Reznik, perhaps Fire’s best friend in the world, can hurtle Fire of Salvation a ludicrous 18.5″ thanks to Perdition. As we established before, what Fire gets to, he kills. With Righteous Vengeance, he gets what he wants. Of course, it’s a bit disingenuous to say that he can do all this without outside help, as he does need a bit of help from an extremely fickle source – the heathen across the table. However, with an “anger” range of 5″, it’s fairly easy to keep the majority of a unit inside his bubble. Given the choice between eating an entire unit worth of attacks and potentially pissing off Fire, most opponents will (wisely) choose to attack the Infantry. You...

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Road to War Episode 19 – A Warmachine & Hordes podcast

Posted by on 7:25 pm

Road to War   This week we talk about bad matchups cheap warjacks and warbeasts and how to use them in the new Meta.  We also talk about some of our favorite underused models. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:13:06 — 33.5MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Build a Paint Rack on the Cheap

Posted by on 9:52 am

I’ve been getting the man cave in order and I ran into a problem with my painting table. Most of the available “real-estate” was taken up by paint pots. So being the guy that buys first and thinks about it later I went shopping around to see what was available. I was disappointed to find nothing at all at my local hobby stores. So I turned to the google, and found one that seemed pretty neat but I decided against it. WarStore Paint Rack  The carousel was really cool, but it was almost 50 bucks, and still would have taken up space on my desk. I really didn’t find any others that I would even consider. Next I checked around to see what other gamers had done. The 40k radio freeboota forums have a great thread on man caves that is several pages long. Most of the man caves had something like this: http://tastymonkeybrains.blogspot.com/2010/12/diy-paint-rack.html The theatre seating style paint organizer, which is cool but I decided that what I really wanted was to get my paints off my desk all together.  So I made my own:  Materials Needed: 3 Plastic Tackle Boxes (3 at $6 each) 1 Set of mounting hardware (97 cents) Hammer Pilot Nail (Slightly larger nail than your mounting nails) Yes its a fishing tackle box. I found a new gamer use for the tackle box. If you don’t own any of these I got it for $6 at a large store that rhymes with Paul Blart. You can get these from pretty much any place that sells fishing supplies. Step one. Rip the lid off, and put it in the recycling. You won’t need it. Next run a pilot hole into the two top corners. This is what makes your tackle box into a wall mount rack. You really don’t need to swing hard to drive the pilot nail through.  I found the easiest way to mount it was to place the mounting nails in the mounting points you just created before lining it up on the wall. These little dividers can become your shelves if your paints are too tall for you to mount the rack horizontally. This is your finished product. I mounted three of them. It looks really slick and grand total ran me $20.  I hope this DIY was informative.  Visit my website MoboltsJackson.com too see what I am working on now, and I look forward to posting more in the...

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Meta crunch 01 – Prepping for AAW 2012

Posted by on 5:31 am

Most people know me for my sculpting articles and sketch art, but I also happen to be a math nerd with a propensity for over thinking things (I study Physics and Architecture, go figure…) and an unconventional take on Khador, so every now and again I will write some strategy and list building articles, like this one… Anyway, this past weekend I have been to Agram Arena Winter 2012, a multi system war gaming two-days event in Zagreb, Croatia (this was the first year they had a Warmachine event in it), with a couple of my locals (this was the first foreign tournament that we attended since the start of Mk 2), so I spent the last 2 weeks ‘dojo-ing’ and tweaking the lists I wanted to take. Here’s my thinking process, step by step: 1.      What was the official format of the event? This was planned as a 16 players SR 2012 four rounds tourney, with predetermined scenarios for each round and up to two fully painted 35 points lists (but you could use one list all day, if you wanted to) under character restrictions and with ‘casual time limits’ in effect. The most relevant information was that everybody knew in advance the four scenarios we would be playing; they were as follows: Round: #15 Restoration Round: #6 Destruction Round: #16 Command and Control Round: #11 Bunkers The first thing that caught my eye, was the absence of Kill box in any of the scenarios and the fact that the first two scenarios both rely on destroying the enemy objective, while the last two are somewhat difficult to score/easy to contest – that makes the little Irusk in my head scream: RANGE IS KING!!!  2.      What was the competition? My biggest problem here was that I had no idea what the Croatian Warmachine meta is like (the last time we played some of those guys was back in Mk 1…) and there should have been another few players from Serbia, which made things more unpredictable. Anyway I scouted the Croatian WM/H forums to see roughly what their field is like. From what I could gather they have prevalently Warmachine players. From the pre-registration list it seemed there would be 2 Khador players beside me, 2 Cryx players and about one possible representative for each of the other factions except Trolls and Minions. Out of that bunch I was most concerned with possible Cryx, Retribution and Menoth match-ups, so I kept those factions in mind during list building… 3.    What were my objectives? I am a fairly competitive player (my friends would say I am the ‘beardy-est’ power player in any game system we play, because I have a very analytical mind set and generally strive to optimize my list builds), but I have very limited experience in competitive play outside our small group (big fish in a small pond) and I have the tendency of getting carried away in the heat of the moment, leaving my caster exposed to assassinations, so I fully expected to be ‘sucker punch’ assassinated in at least one of the four games, so I didn’t put my hopes too high in the overall rankings. Let say I was aiming to end up in the top half. On the other hand I am pretty...

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Chunder from Downunder – Plans for 2013

Posted by on 10:37 pm

OK, so as 2012 winds down, and since the world may end by next week (I’m actually hoping Japanese people see a dragon and I become magically active), I thought I would turn my attention to the year ahead, and what I’m hoping it will hold for me in the world of Warmahordes.   My main goals for 2013 are: – play a whole shitload of different factions/stuff – be competitive with it – have more of a social experience around the tournaments I play – end the year with a higher percentage of painted models in every faction – help establish more tournaments in the Brisbane area meta – travel to more tournaments within Australia – travel to Warmachine Weekend   So I’ve seen the Paradox Plunge, and while I find it interesting, I’m not sure I want to stick to any one faction/caster long enough to really champion them next year. Instead, I’ll come up with a list of casters and other pieces from each faction I’m interested in playing at a tournament. These will range from some of the normal power casters to some of the lesser used dudes, and some of the actual lists I want to try are just downright weird.   Menoth – Kreoss3, Thyra Cygnar – eStryker, Kraye, eCaine, Nemo3, Nemo2 Khador – Butcher1, Vlad1, Vlad3, Demolisher, Devastator Mercs – Ashlynn, Damiano, Durgen (curse you RobertShepherd!) Retribution – eVyros, pVyros, Ossyan, Ravyn, Sphinx, Aspis Legion – eLylyth, pThagrosh, Rhyas, pLylyth (Damn you phatasian!), Archangel, Carnivean Skorne – Naaresh, eHexy, Mammoth! Trollbloods – Calandra, Nyss, Witch Doctor Circle – Kromac, eKaya, Cassius, Morvhana, Mohsar, pKrueger   Obviously that’s a shitload of different stuff, and I’ve no intention of playing every single one of those lists at a tournament (I would need a lot more tournaments for one thing)! Also, this list tends to change fairly rapidly according to whim and whimsy. Regardless, I am going to set my goal as playing a minimum of 5 different factions at tournaments this year. This then ties in to my next goal, which is to be as competitive as I can be with the intent of using that much stuff. This is going to require very different preparation than what I’ve done previously, where I would play the crap out of one faction exclusively for a decent period of time, tweaking and playtesting and finetuning my lists, normally with a target of a certain large event as the culmination of those efforts. Now however, I’m not really going to have the time with any particular faction to do that. I figure I can go for a couple of different methods. The first would be to do a shorter version of what I have been doing, allocate a couple of months to a faction and play them at whatever events happen to occur in that timeframe. The other would be to throw caution to the wind, play whatever I feel like all year, and hope to just play lots of game against a variety of opponents to development my fundamentals to the point where I can play a solid game at any time with any faction (aka the Chuck method). I think I’m going to go for the second method.   The next part can be something...

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Breaking the Rubber-Band

Posted by on 7:56 am

This is a beginner article about a common game mechanic, some fools playing with dice and how both concepts relate to Warmachine and Hordes.  I’m going to walk you through what a rubber band is (the common game mechanic), how they’re made, and how you can apply this to your Warmachine and Hordes shenanigans. Definition:  A rubber band is a gaming element that constrains players performing well and/or assists players performing poorly in a game.  Rubber banding is also sometimes referred to as dynamic game difficulty balancing. Examples:        The item roles (ie. purple shell) in Mario Kart. Experience yield/level in RPG games. The AI difficulty and spawn rate in Left4Dead. Why They Exist:  Games stop being fun when you know you’re out of the mix to win.  The instant most players know they’re not going to win they disengage.  Game designers started adding rubber bands to games to pool performance of all the players together.  As a result, the players stay engaged longer and view the game more positively (have more fun).  Another way to interpret this is that players excelling are burdened with additional challenge to make the game more interesting and players that are having trouble face less challenge to avoid frustration. A few months ago I was hanging out with my old college roommate.  We went to undergrad for Engineering with one another so when we get together stupid things get technical for no reason.  Thankfully, this interaction was not a disappointment.  We’d just seen Looper and started to argue about who the most lethal character in Bruce Willis’s history would be.  He’s played a number of bad asses, so we approached the question… Which of the bad ass Bruce Willis’s is the baddest ass? Here comes the technical non-sense.  We listed qualifiers using IMDB and built out a bracket for the top 16 seeds.  Yes.  A picture will soon follow.  Now that we’d selected our combatants, we had to figure out how to battle them.  Straight dice didn’t seem fair because the #1 seed should have some material advantage over the #16 seed.  In balance with that, we don’t want the advantage to be SO large that the winners were going to be obvious high rank choices.  That second portion called for building a rubber band.  Here is what we did.  Each character starts with 17 – (seed #) dice (d6 of course). Roll Whichever character rolls the highest # wins (1-6) If they tie (each have at least one 6, or one 5, etc.) than the character with the larger pool of dice removes one.  Permanently. Repeat 2-5 until a winner is apparent. Here are the results.  The super-script number is the residual dice counts each character carried into the next round.  You can see; as a result of the mechanic we introduced, we had some pretty interesting results and a few upsets. I bring this up for two reasons;  It’s hilarious. Warmachine and Hordes have a very elegantly built-in rubber band:  The caster assassination. The first caster I was ever really drawn into was Epic Caine.  He’s a great sculpt with rules to match.  What’s not to love?  I remember playing games where my entire point was to toilet bowl my whole army, lulling my opponent into a false sense of security...

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