Monday, June 13, 2011

Hobby update 9 13

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I went to the beach. I moved back home to save some money until my wedding. I started some new stuff at work. Needless to say, not much has been accomplished hobby-wise. I’m not the most dedicated at the best of times, so why would that change now?

Really, it’s that a lot of it is lost in the chaos. It’s hard to paint because the paint station is covered in the models that I shoved on there during the move. The chair is covered in clothes that still haven’t been put away. Even if I could, the model on queue is… somewhere…

Instead, I have decided to do this:

It’s not armies on parade or whatever. I’m organizing everything for when the next big move happens. I’ve built an excel spreadsheet to track the location of every model and what case/transport bag it’s in, down to what tray. I didn’t bother going to down to the exact slot in the tray because that would be too neurotic…

I’m not sure how exactly I’m going to break everything out. I don’t have slots for every model yet. I was thinking of placing another (substantial) Battlefoam order, particularly for the larger and odder shaped models. Beyond that, we’ll see.

It won't stop the hobby. I'm really only packing up stuff that I won't be using, so a few things will still be hanging out and getting worked on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dice, Ethics, and…Dicey Ethics?

After all is said and done, I’m going to be looking for some audience participation from anybody that happens to stumble their way across here.

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to play two games of Warhammer over the past weekend.

The first game was an epic struggle with one of my buddies and his Lizardmen. He was gracious enough to announce that he would not cast Dwellers Below unless things went horribly wrong. I returned that I could use all his spells with the Third Eye of Tzeentch, so we had a very nice little prisoner’s dilemma brewing. It was a back and forth match that saw us separated by about 50 victory points at the end, meaning it was one of the most fun ties I’ve been a part of.

Following that, I played one of the vets and the new Tomb Kings book. It was close to start. A random “river of light” roll saw my Trolls get weapon skill and initiative 10, along with a +1 strength bonus from the Warshrine. Needless to say, they and a unit of knights plowed their way through a unit of archers apiece, before running into infantry blocks and the charge of a chariot unit with the flaming banner that they just weren’t quite hard enough to handle. After that, things took a turn as my infantry met his proceeded to absolutely grind their way through them. I found the most challenging part of the game to be deciding which of his spells to let through, as he had entirely too many dice to stop them all. Unfortunately for him, I think GW has seen the problem they created with the eight main lores and are fixing it by toning down the army book lores. Of course, that makes for a very unbalanced system…

Two paragraphs in the bag. Neither of them really relates to what I want to say in this space, but they do lead to it. We all know this is a dice game. We all whinge and moan about those terrible ones that we just roll all the time. It comes with the territory. I don’t know any wargamer that isn’t superstitious to some degree. But what about the other end? What happens when you’re just rolling out your mind and keep climbing higher and higher on the bell curve until you start thinking about non-stop flights to Vegas? I don’t care how much skill your opponent has, when you save on your armor 30+ times in a row, the odds begin to skew in your favor. And I’m not speaking hyperbolically, because we started counting.

Obviously this can happen. We all catch hot streaks. But it’s been like that three and a half games out of four, and I’m starting to think it’s my custom club dice. I’m scared to take leadership checks, even on an 8 or a 9, outside of the Casket of Souls and a voluntary flee reaction (which I then needed two turns to rally from), I’ve only needed to check twice. And when my buddies have to take inordinate amounts of models off the table over and over again, I start to feel bad and neither of us enjoys the game as much.

So what then? My dice aren’t modded. I’m not picking and choosing which dice I’m throwing based on needing to roll high or low (which has been done by others in the past). I don’t pick up the small dice for characteristic checks. But I am rolling sixes so hard it looks like a hub for cargo trains most of the time. At what point do I start to think about picking up different dice to play with? It’s not an issue of the legality of the game, but rather, an ethics one. At what point do things begin to get murky in terms of the spirit of fair play?