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About this blog

When our normal tournaments were cancelled and in-person/in-home games became impractical we chose to get creative rather than stop playing.  This blog is an attempt to bring together things we’ve posted about in other areas so others can hopefully learn from our mistakes and do it even better should they face similar choices.

Entries in this blog

Balance as a Wicked Problem

What is a Wicked Problem?  It is a concept originally derived for social/political planning problems by Rittel & Webber in 1973 as having 10 characteristics (borrowing from Wikipedia for this): 1) There is no definite formulation of a wicked problem. 2) Wicked problems have no stopping rule? 3) Solutions to wicked problems are not true-false, but better or worse. 4) There is no immediate and ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem. 5) Every solution to a wick

Ultimate Bragging Rights Unlocked

The first set of Ultimate Bragging Rights (beating your opponent with your own list and then turning around and under the same conditions beating them with theirs) came about in arguably the most predictable way.  The player who had built the Khorne list actually had even more experience playing Mawtribes so when the tables flipped, even though the opponent’s  list they were playing wasn’t the Triple Frostlord build they’re known for running they still had plenty of familiarity with how the fact

So Close, Yet So Far Away

No Ultimate Bragging rights were achieved in the first week of flipped tables in Zoom League for a replay of Shifting Objectives @ 2K with players now using their opponent’s lists. Until late in the game it looked like Bonesplitterz were going to pull out their first win.  Somebody apparently told Pebbles, or Rogue Idol, that Forgeworld had decided to cancel him and he didn’t take it well as he moved into the middle where it preceded to put a beating down in the early rounds; wiping out a u

At the Turn: Having Gone 3-0 am I Destined for 0-3?

With a win against Mawtribes my Fyreslayers managed to go 3-0.  Yet, once again, how I won gives me hope that I will manage to pull off “Ultimate Bragging Rights” at least once as we flip the table and start playing our opponents’ list. To make for a more interesting tactical choice with the center objective in Focal Points we’d made sure the objective could be contested on two levels. As can be seen in the picture above those on ground level would be in the 6” zone of control but

The First Rule of Fyreslayers... Fyreslayers vs Bonesplitterz - Scorched Earth @ 2K

... as I understand it is keep your key units in their buff bubbles.  I broke that rule and turned the game into a slow attrition battle that I barely came out on top of. My opponent had more experience playing against Fyreslayers than I had playing with them.  With a double battalion they were going to have fewer drops than I would and thus would choose priority.  When they placed their big block of Arrowboyz on the front edge of their deployment zone my guess was they’d use their pre-R1 m

Fear of the Activation Wars in Khorne v Mawtribes - Scorched Earth @ 2K

Most of us have probably succumbed to it at some point in our playing - that fear/obsession over one particular aspect of our opponent’s list that causes  us to make choices in our turn to address it that ultimately prove sub-optimal in many other areas of the match and ultimately self-defeating as at best we delay what we are worried about, not entirely derail. The last time these two players had gone head-to-head it had been Mawtribes v FEC with the double pile-ins of Feeding Frenzy playi

Batrep or Scouting Report? Fyreslayers vs Khorne - Shifting Objectives @ 2K

Will have to wait to actually get the full flavor when the tables do flip but the mere knowledge that in a few weeks I’d be on the “other side of the table” piloting the Khorne list added a lot of flavor to my in game experience. Jumping to the conclusions: First, this was my first time playing Fyreslayers (opponents first time playing Khorne so even footing there) and I left the match feeling good overall about how I played but positive that there was still plenty of room for improve

Bonesplitterz vs Mawtribes - Shifting Objectives @ 2K

Savage Orruk Big Boss Proxy: Look Behind You! Irongut: Not Falling for That One Again... This encounter ended how you’d expect it to but the overall game had lots of twists and turns. Had been hoping to get more votes into the poll before posting but oh well.  Don’t want to get too far behind on these reports. Starting with Bonesplitterz deployment and decision to go first.  While the Mawtribes frontline deployment is consistent with their desire to get out and into the thick o

Can You Pick the Winner Just from the Lists - An AoS Experiment

In our new tournament I am getting to run an experiment I have always wanted to try.  Four players are submitting 2K lists to play in a double round robin tournament.  In the first round robin each player will play their own list against each of their opponent's lists.  In the second round robin each player will play their opponent's list against their own.  To me ultimate bragging rights in AoS would come from being able to beat you with my own list and then turn around and beat you again playi

“Yes, it’s Fantasy, But...”: A Few Not so Random Thoughts as the Lists Compile

Can’t wait to put out all the lists for our new tournament format to see if readers can identify the winner in advance and thus test the list vs player hypothesis. But as I wait thought I’d put out a few thoughts on the threads that I referenced in my last post.  As I’ve discussed in previous posts I came to Age of Sigmar from historical war games and a lot of these thoughts fall into the dynamic of “Yes it’s is fantasy but...” I’d be the first to admit that much of this in the end is

Attitude of Gratitude for Getting to Determine Which Matters More, The List or the Player?

Oh Boy!  After a few weeks off for the Holidays during which I probably spent way too much time reading threads about how bad things supposedly are in Age of Sigmar land (there’s not enough diversity, there’s too much power creep, it’s being neglected, etc.) I am grateful to be back playing and having fun.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of thoughtful posters on all sides of these issues but reading through them in bulk just makes me incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful gaming group

What I Learned from Blisterskin and Guild of Summoners re:What Works & What Doesn’t Over Zoom

Right up front it is worth acknowledging that the tournaments I played these two armies in were structured very differently.  Blisterskin was played in an Escalation based tournament that started at 1K and went to 2K in 250 pt increments.  Guild of Summoners was played in a three match tournament where you had a fixed 1.25K list and got an extra 250 points to customize to the battleplan and match up.  That said I think there were some key takeaways regarding what works and what doesn’t when play

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Time to Play vs Time to Type

My intent had been to track all the Zoom League games we’d been playing but found that I either had time to play the games or write about them afterwards and, unsurprisingly, chose the former. But with our third Zoom tournament kicking off next week I thought I would check back in and provide a broad update. The first Zoom League tournament was a Death & Destruction Escalation League that pitted Ironjawz against Boulderhead and Blisterskin.  We started at 1K and with 250 point incr

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

BoC vs Bloodgullet - Gift from the Heavens

A quasi-rematch and given the battleplan was essentially the proto-Starstrike we decided “narratively speaking” this would just represent another portion of the previous battlefield and thus used a similar set-up.   Learning from the previous match while sticking with Khorne Brass Despoilers, though adding a Doombull,  as the foundation of their army they switched from Darkwalkers to Gavespawn and switched out the generic Brayherd Shaman  for (proxied) Grashrak Fellhoof and his Despoilers. 

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Nurgle vs BCR 1.75K - Starstrike

Playing against Gutrot Spume and his Slime Fleet if nothing else had taught me to screen my back line.  This time though I’d have my own unit coming out of Ambush in my Icebrow Hunter and a couple of Frost Sabres.  The hope was that once the objectives came down I’d be able to steal one. With the back line screened off Nurgle overloaded one side.  When the PBKs that came on with Gutrot made their charge they erased a unit of Mournfangs before they had a chance to fight back. While

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

Beer & Pretzels Gamer

BoC vs Nurgle - The BIG Test

As “awesome” as a me against all comers dynamic might be 😏a lot of the fun of AoS comes from experiencing a variety of different play styles.  Sure, we could get some of this from changing up the armies more often but realistically this diversity best comes from playing against a variety of different opponents, each with their own playing personality. To achieve this we had to test “concierge” play.  Would the gaming Cage work with two remote players and myself as a 3rd party moving all the

Why I Play the Game - BCR vs BoC Battle Report

After being literally knocked out of football I played golf senior year of high school and through college.  If you were like me, a bogey to double-bogey player on average you hit 90-110 shots in an 18 hole round all for the 3-5 shots that you’d remember.  That 300 yard drive you had that miraculously landed in the fairway, even if you mangled your approach and three putted.  That approach shot from the rough after a bad drive that landed on the green and gave you a shot at birdie, even if you c

Escalation and Evolution of a New Meta

With proof of concept the big question was - What’s Next?   With scheduling issues for one player and still working out logistics for some of our other previously regular players the two of us that could schedule more regular games set out to play an mini-Escalation League between Nurgle and Beastclaw Raiders.  Neither of us had been thrilled by our beta test 1K build so we both went back to the drawing board.  Nurgle proxied in a couple of Plague Drones as Pusgoyles to give their list a

Lessons from Beta Testing

While scheduling caused a few more delays we eventually lined up two Beta Test games.  Both would be 1K with an emphasis on “the basics”. The first match was Beastclaw Raiders versus Nurgle. A simple two objective battleplan with minimal terrain did mean this was a bit of a race forward and smash each other in the face style match-up, though Gutrot Spume and the PBKs in the Slime Fleet did add a little flavor.  Mostly what this one did was serve as proof of concept. Our secon

Technical Difficulties

Of course at the time “everyone” was trying to by webcams to videoconference into work or for their kid’s remote learning.  My original plan had been to use GoPro cameras as then, when hopefully the need for a Gaming Cage was no longer present, they’d have other uses.  Unfortunately I ended up in a software update loop that hours with their Service Center couldn’t fix (basically it required a software update but until the software was updated it wouldn’t let me into the program I needed to get i

Designing & Building the Gaming Cage

We were in the middle of a Khorne-centric narrative cycle when the lock down started that we were using in part to learn some new armies that we might take to a friendly small tournament (The Battle in the Barn) between our local gaming group and another gaming group an hour or two down Route 90.   Like a lot of people our initial perspective was to take a wait and see approach while focusing on the hobby side of the game in the interim. As it became more and more likely that our small tour
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