Sunday, 28 February 2016

Life on the NET # 11

Hello people,

So, back down to Warboar yesterday for my third Store Championship and the best day of competition Netrunner that I've had to date. Running tweaked NBN Sparks and Criminal Ken I scored 7 Prestige across five rounds, only blanking in the final round.

As much as that's my best performance to date it was more that I felt far more comfortable in the environment and enjoyed all of my games, taking something from each of them, against some good opponents, both as people and players.

As a side note I've noticed that Netrunner players, probably card gamers as a whole, are a slightly different different breed of geek / need.  Having had this discussion with a couple of gaming buddies we think it's because of the inherent game mechanic being very maths based. Unlike any dice based game the only true variable is card draw, which itself can be manipulated / tutored. There's a strong theme of resource management and a strong theme of "efficiency" to all aspects of gameplay.
I also read an excellent article on by Iain Reid in the week about induction, making the best possible conclusion from observable facts. For Netrunner the ID of opponent, game state, plays made etc. Very obvious once pointed out to me but isn't that alway the way. Not only did it make me more of my opponent's play it also made me think about what mine says. As such a set of Data Ravens went into Sparks. I know I'm not trying to kill, but you don't ;)

And this is what I really enjoyed about the day, the feeling that I'm making the transition from Unconcious Incompetence to Concious Incompetence and the improvement in my gameplay that's come from that. I've had a few post game compliments about my play recently which have, naturally, been very pleasing. Not the reason I play but motivational nonetheless.

As to the actual games I split a lot winning my first two Corp then drawing an winning as Runner. Ken was definitely more consistent with all but my last game being very close. Sparks either did what it needed to or flooded my hand with Agendas and Upgrades, TWICE, to hamstring me horribly.

Both will be going to Dark Sphere next Sunday with a few more tweaks. After that I want to try Wayland-Argus and maybe something Jinteki at which point NBN will be given a rest as I haven't played any other Corp. Ken will definitely stay for the forseeable, I really enjoy him, but I want to give Anarch a go.

Definitely want to have two Corp and two Runner decks in circulation as it seems that I rather enjoy this game :)

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Big Boys Don't Cry # 1

Hello people,

Once again I have snuck in some brush-time over the weekend, all of it TAG related. Rob's Gorgos, and as such his army, is buttoned up as whilst my Iguana and Geckos currently hover at the 90% stage.

It's judge edge highlighting a touch of glazing here and there along with a bit of detailing......which is the BIG thing. The relative size of these guys alone makes them natural centrepieces to the wider force and I want to make the most of that. I've learnt with the rest of the army that a simple smooth scheme tends to work best, too busy looks awful on this stuff, it's a crucial balancing act.

I'm not the best with flat detail but I've got some sheets of Tau symbols / text and Dreadball numbers decals that will do the job nicely. The Tau stuff will be kept to a minimum, probably just text and maybe the odd bonding knife, but the numbering is a definite. I think it suits them well as military exo-suits.

With the Iguana I'm likely to re-paint the helmets, TAG and pilot, to match in with the tail which is currently a mid green that won't be staying either. From black / dark grey I'd like to bring in some green somehow to reflect the lizard angle but that's something to play with, possibly a stripe of dark green down each side of the tail and across the top of the helmet front to back.
A couple of Google image searches has brought up some inspiration but if you've got any to spare please feel free to let me know. Sunday evening will be the great unveil....

Until then :) 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Life on the NET # 10

Hello people,

Yes it's another Netrunner post and as I've just noticed that the series has made its way into double figures which confirms something that I already now, I've kind of fallen for this game in a big way ;)

So yesterday myself and Alex headed up to Wargames Workshop in Northampton for thier Store Champs which also doubled up as Round 1 of Gaurdians of Tyr year long Grand Championship.

It was first time out proper for my NBN Sparks and Criminal Ken decks though ive had a reasonable number if games with both. With a field of 28 we were guaranteed an alt art Jackson Howard, as well as a choice of two custom art card dividers, but that wasn't the best thing I came away with.

With four rounds my target was 2 wins for 4 Prestige. After the second round I'd gathered 5 prestige with two wins and a timed draw. Within that I'd played poorly for my first Corp loss and made a big mistake to miss out on the win in my drawn Runner game. As such I was feeling pretty chipper at lunch :)

Post lunch I found myself on the dizzying heights of table 5 and deity competing well lost the double. Final round I was feeling the brain drain and playing against decks I'd never encountered before which did not go well.

Overall I impressed myself and felt much happier with my decks and overall gameplay. I have no problem making mistakes as long as I learn from them. Other than a few tweaks for Ken, mainly adding Drive By to deal with Ash and Caprice it'll be same again next Saturday at Warboar.

The good times, the are rolling :)

Friday, 19 February 2016

Filthy, Filthy??

Hello people,

Last Saturday I spent the day down at Paradice Cafe / Warboar in Bromley. Now this is nothing new, in almost any respect, as I'm something of a dedicated regular to the X-Wing and Netrunner tournament scene. It's also an excellent geek venue and Nigel was playing in thier Armada store championship.

What was different was that I was meeting an old mate to catch up with each other. We're old gaming buddies from many, many years back having worked at GW together a previous lifetime.

We spent all day playing Netrunner, aka Filthy Cards, trying out decks for a set of upcoming events but it was more the setting to the day rather than the day itself. It was a good reminder of the social side of the hobby that can sometimes get overrun in the rush for the top tables at any given event.
It is after a major part of why I play the games I play, the community and the individuals within it. As I'm sure I've mentioned before I'm pretty anti WAAC whilst still wanting to play good, challenging games against good, challenging opponents. To my mind there's a fine line involved as much as it's each to their own.

The problem is that people often don't leave each to their own and WAAC but it's nature can easily stomp over good old fashioned fun as its louder due to its general insecurities. Having said that I can't resist an internal fist pump when WAAC comes a cropper and find's itself having a bad day of things ;)

In short it was a very good day out and doubly nice not to be keeping score of wins. That will come tomorrow as myself and Alex head up to Northampton for Gaurdian's Netrunner Store Champs. A 25% win ratio remains the target :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Remote Control # 2

Hello people,

I've not had too much brush-time to blog about recently but after a bit of an afternoon session Sunday and a few finishing touches last night I've finished up ALL of my Zonds / Remotes.

That gives me a pair of Reaktion Zonds, a pair of Tsyklon / Generic Zonds and a Meteor Zond to add to my already well loved Lunokhod Zond plus the Alguacil Hacker and Moran Massai.

That's 20 Painting Points thank you so much :)

It should also give me the kick in the arse to get the Tunguska list back on the table an hopefully work out what to do with them. ARO is my friend and I also want to be getting more from the Moran, Spektrs and Zeros, which I'm sure will take a bit of practice to get the best from.

The Iguana and Gecko TAGs are also well underway which along with Tunguska Interventnors and an outstanding Intruder Sniper will give me a fully painted Nomad force.

Scary times people!!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Hope and Faith

Hello People,

There's been a bit of gnashing and wailing at a number of X-Wing top tables recently due to a perceived narrowing of competitive build options. This has been off the back of the recent prominence of Rebel Regen lists that hit you up with  multiple Stress and then simply refuse to die whilst Poe / TLT pick you to pieces.

Imperial Interceptor lists have struggled with TLT, especially quads which have hammered them. TIE swarms have trouble getting arcs and putting out enough damage. Scum seem to have fallen from the top tables entirely since the demise of dual IG-2000s, which may not be the worst thing going.

As such I, and many others in my various play groups, have been at something of a loss as what to fly. For myself I don't fly Rebel and I don't really want to go back to lists that I've flown a lot before, Scum Boba Swarm and Soontir Swarm, despite their relative strength in the current meta. I've flown a few experimental lists over the last couple of months but none of them have grabbed me particularly without having a glaring flaw in their build.

So it was some trepidation that I approached a pair of Store Championships this weekend with two list in mind Scum Boba / TLT and Vader Black-Crack Swarm.

Strolling into Lost Ark on Saturday and was intending to fly Boba but after chatting to a few of the regular crowd I switched over to "Black, Sack and Crack" at the last moment;

Vader - Veteran Instincts - TIE X1 - Advanced Targeting Computer - Engine Upgrade
Howlrunner - Crack Shot
3 x Black Squadron - Crack Shot

Across 4 games I went 2-2 with two big wins, a very close loss and a proper spanking after flying like a div. Sunday it was Dark Sphere for a further 5 games going 3-2 with a big win, two modified wins and two very close losses.

Overall I was very pleased. Not so much with the results but that I'd found a new list different enough from what I've previously flown but with the legs to do better. The PS4 Black Squadrons need a bit more thought as to how they engage and more importantly deal with the disengage the turn after.

Vader is definitely NOT Soontir but just as rewarding in his own way with greater versatility unconstrained by Push The Limit Stress.

In analysis I could have been more aggressive all round. Four of my losses were by less than one of the Blacks and with less conservative flying were there for the taking. The couple of games when I trusted to the list went better than when I didn't.

Something to work on for the foreseeable and a couple of alternate art C3-POs for my efforts. Boba will still get a look in but I think I've found my top table list for a good while yet.

I attended with HOPE and found my FAITH :)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Remote Control #1

Hello people,

Yes its been a while again but in honesty I haven't had too much of interest, relative term I know, or outside of the norm to rattle on about. Until now......

Last night I took a deep breath and put a Tunguska themed list on the table for a game of Infinity with Toby last night down at Enfield Gamers. Between the two of us we've had some pretty brutal games and this time I was going into it without the safety net of a linked team which have become pretty standard MO amongst the majority of us.

Tunguska and their Hacker / Remote heavy theme are what sold me on Nomads in the first place but I wanted to get to a half decent level with the game before taking the plunge. I've also managed to get in a bit more brush-time recently to finish off a few bits and get stuck into my Zonds most of which just now need final highlights (photos imminent). In fact all I've got left to finish otherwise are a pair of half done Zonds, a pair of Inventnors with Pandas, an Intruder sniper before I can treat myself to the TAGs to completely finish my Nomads and Rob's Tohaa. Scary.........
Trying out a 20x20 mission we had 4 turns to repair and escape in a battle damaged APC with bonus points for "inoculating" an enemy trooper with Zombie-Juice (patent pending). In honesty Toby needn't have worried as I turned up with half a plan, made a couple of marginal decisions and then got smashed by the dice, which amusingly was exactly what happened in reverse when we played a recent league game.

Running with an Inventnor, two support Hackers I went Zond heavy with a Gecko mini TAG as what I hoped would be overwhelming fire-power whilst Moran, Zero, and Spektr Specialists ran around doing all of the mission stuff. As I have no doubt intimated it didn't go to plan........

Toby won the WIP role and had me deploy first. I chose to go first to buff my two Reaktion Zonds and blast away. It was a bit of judgement call at the time and I was happy to trade off and then repair. Unfortunately his linked team Missile Launcher simply blew me off the table with superior dice. The two Reaktion Zonds  went first, though the Zondbots passed three Armour Checks each, though the worst blow was the Gecko taking a Crit and a further Hit with the Inventnor and a Salyut Zond right next to it perishing as well. After that it was just a case of mopping up from Turn 1 for Toby, though I did manage to pot a couple of his lads before I went into Retreat.
In hindsight, a wonderful thing, going second and acting on ARO whilst hiding everything else might have been a better call but I wanted to buff the Zonds and seize the initiative. With the dice the way they were I'm not sure it would have made too much of a difference.

I'm happy that my thinking was sound, it's a theory that appeals, I just need to work on the execution and maybe tweak the list around. Definitely a list to run a few more times, I'll just have to take the pain whilst I do so though at least it will be fully painted ;)